Have you ever been a passenger on a plane and prior to take off you have heard the attendants say things like, “In case of an emergency, the air bags will automatically fall. Place the air bag on yourself FIRST before helping the person next to you.” Now, if you are a parent or anyone who has a heart for people, we find this a difficult task right?! I mean, in my thinking I say things like, “How can that be a good thing? To place an air mask on myself first then, I am ready to help another. Is this really true? Am I not being selfish with this type of act?” Then, I slow down a minute, visualize myself in said emergency and imagine, What if I choke or pass out while helping the other person, we both will die right? Slowly, I have the realization that this is sound advice but hard to accept initially for one who can often find it difficult to set boundaries for themselves! Placing the air mask on oneself ensures that both passengers will have the needed air to live and to survive the emergency.
Fast forward to my day off. I am truly exhausted. I know I am a single lady but I sometimes feel like I have a family and am married with the responsibilities I have in my life of work, caring for parents, relating to my siblings, making times for friends, daily household chores, and of just keeping things flowing in my life! I do not know if this tiredness has been building in me the last few weeks, but the fact remains I am tired (I really feel like I need a vacation!).
If you are like me, especially if you are a woman like me, the feelings of guilt can creep in sometimes for just needing a “day off” or an “adult time out”. Setting boundaries for the needs of myself can be a difficult task at times. I do have to remind myself that even Jesus “withdrew to lonely places” and He surely understands my needs and my feelings. He was single too, and He found times to be alone to re-capture the energy and the focus He would need to follow God’s will for His life.
So, if Jesus (and God) took time out to be renewed physically, mentally and spiritually then, certainly we should too; single or married it is a human need.
So, maybe I don’t feel so bad today as I sit here drinking my Frappucino from Starbucks writing this entry! 🙂 Sure, there are things still undone in my life today, but if I don’t take this time out to enjoy some SPA (Sanity Preservation Activities) then, I am going to be useless to the next person or commitment in my life! The Bible says “to come unto me all you who are weary and I will give you rest” so, here I am Lord, I need some rest! (Yeah, I am still sitting here and enjoying my Frappucino at Starbucks)! 🙂
If you, like me, feel guilty at times for taking some time out for self, think of Jesus and his examples of how to have some SPA! Take time out, withdraw to a lonely place, go away from the “crowds” in your life and be refreshed in God’s presence so you can get back to the business in your life!
So here’s to SPA and to placing the air mask over yourself first, especially in case of an emergency! 🙂
–Rev. Diane Buie