I picked up a book the other day and struggled through about two chapters- it was full of pop psychology and suggestions on how to nurture my self. I lost patience when I reached the author's list of ways to take care of "me."
Take a long walk on the beach. (Obviously, she doesn't know what the river looks like right now.)
Buy lunch on lunch break. (Hello?! What lunch break?)
Go to a hot tub or Jacuzzi. (But that would require finding time, money, and a sitter and a suit.)
Go to bed early. (Oh, I wish. )
Have a manicure or pedicure. (Well, the dollars spent on a manicure would be better directed to the cosmetics counter for help in the dark-circles-under-eyes department.)
The list went on and on and on and finally I just put the book down and said out loud, "I don't need to read this right now! My self is selfish enough without being fed by all of this junk!" Obviously, none of the above are bad, and I've done all of them at other times in my life, but now isn't one of the times.
Last night was something my "self" needed to hear as a young man spoke to the teens about being chosen to serve. As a child of God, we are chosen to serve Him. It's a calling. It's a duty. Our feet should hit the floor and be headed off to honor Him. I sat there, as a leader, totally convicted about my own reluctance to be a servant, even to my own kids.
It's easier to play the martyr than to cheerfully die to self.
Easier to whine that I want a manicure than to clip 30 combined toe and finger nails.
Easier to dream of Jacuzzi tubs than to pick up all of the ducks and bath toys before my shower- and just be thankful for hot water.
Easier to blame my shortness and crabbiness on sleep deprivation than to humble myself and ask for God to carry me and give me grace.
"Bear one another's burdens and so fulfill the law of Christ. For if anyone thinks himself to be something, when he is nothing, he deceives himself. And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart." Galations 6: 2-3,6