Circle of Life Is it ever right to put yourself first? I know, it’s a dangerous question to ask—and especially in a Christian context. Surely we exist to put others first—to prioritise their needs over our own. This is the Christian way—or certainly the inferred way to live as a Christian. But is it right?
Well, I’m not sure that it is right and certainly not in its entirety—and here’s why. People who give out, if not refreshed, tend to burnout—and often big time. And God does not what you burnt out—it’s not his will for you.
I mean, the church is littered with those who have ‘burnt out for Jesus’ the consequences of which have left a nasty mess for those brought in to mop up afterwards. There needs to be a different way—a burn on, but not burn out way: a sustainable way. So what is?
Well, it has to do with rhythm, cycles and seasons. Everyday has a rhythm, each week a cycle and each phase of life a season. And, at the risk of sounding like a prophecy from Ezekiel, each season has cycles that run within it and rhythms that run inside those cycles and together they become the circle of your life. The whirling and twirling of all those things come together to present you with the time of your life—in a similar way to the intricate wheels and cogs of a watch come together to present you with the time of day. Now it’s not possible here to talk about cycles and seasons but here are a few thoughts on rhythm.
People often think that rhythm is a bad thing because it leads to routines as if routines in themselves are bad for you. They’re not bad but good. Routines don’t crush you, they save you because they help to bring priority and structure to your days without which we can drift on endlessly without purpose. They provide the frameworks of work, rest and play – showing us when to start and stop certain activities – ignore them and we abuse the gift of life we’ve been offered. Do you have a partner? When was your last date night? Are you a parent? When was the last visit to the park – without the mobile, but with the kids! (I speak to myself, you understand!) And here’s a thing: Have you read a good quality book this year? If not why not – seriously, why not? Don’t you care for your soul? Now stop sinning and take a trip to Waterstones :) Okay, so I will get off my little hobby horse now – but not before I’ve made my point. Take care of yourself for goodness sake – after all God has done everything he can to take care of you through Christ – now it’s your turn.