Taking Time for YOU

FOR THE RECORD: I strongly disliked the movie “The Change-Up”.  It was “Freaky Friday” just with guys, way too much cussing and nudity.  The only reason why I wanted to see it was because I liked Jason Bateman and the characters he usually plays in movies.

Even though I really didn’t like “The Change-Up”, there was one part of the movie that made me reflect, hence this blog post.  In the beginning of the movie, Jason Bateman (who plays a straight laced, family guy who is working way too hard towards a promotion) switches bodies with Ryan Reynolds (a playboy who never grew up).  It was after Jason (now in Ryan’s body) came to grips with his “new” self, that he decides to let go of his old self and enjoy his freedom and do things he hasn’t been able to do for years because he had a wife, career and family.  He actually relaxes and enjoys life for the 1st time in years.  Because of this epiphany, when he and Ryan Reynolds switch back at the end of the movie, he becomes a different man…a better man and all his family and friends appreciate it.

This situation made me ask the question of myself, “am I Jason Bateman”?  Am I neglecting myself and my family by working too much and neglecting myself and the ones I love?

Whether it was true or not, it made me think, “what am I doing to keep myself healthy – mentally, physically and spiritually so that I’m a better person for everyone”.  So I will ask you that same question. What are you doing to keep yourself healthy – mentally, physically and spiritually so that you can be a better person for all those around you? What do you like to do so that you can be the best son or daughter, father or mother, husband or wife you can be?

I ask this question because I have seen in my life, when I don’t take care of me, I fail on epic proportion.  Believe me I have tons of experience. I wasn’t taking care of myself and ultimately that affected who I became and how I treated those close to me.

For years, I sacrificed myself and did for others so much that I neglected myself.  I didn’t do anything for me because I FELT like I needed to be x, y, or z so that my family, wife and children could have more of me.  But the reality was that, although noble, the more I gave them, the less I really had to give them.  Because I wasn’t taking care of myself.

Psalm 23:1-3 (ESV) says, “The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want.  He makes me lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside still waters. He restores my soul. He leads me in paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.”

The Lord wants to be your shepherd and give you rest (lie down in green pastures…restores your soul).  We need that restoration in ourselves to make it.  And that is one of the things that has changed over the past year for me.  I have started “resting” by doing some things again that I love to do.  I have gone see the Nationals play (as bad as they are), I have gone to coffee shops to process and write, I have gone and hung out with friends late at night, I have worked out and even slept in!!!  I never sleep in.  Doing those things have helped restore my soul.

And now, because I have taken care of myself, I have so much more in the tank to give my wife, children and friends.  Funny how that works.

So right now, TAKE A MINUTE and think through, what do you need to do to get healthy.  What activity or action do you need to do so that you can be the best YOU, you can be?  Don’t do it for your friends or family.  Do it for YOU first because believe me, your friends and family will benefit from your overall health.

Thoughts? Comments? Questions? Experiences?  Post a comment and let the discussion begin so that we can all benefit from it.

Tom Pounder

A father of 4, Tom is the Online Campus Pastor as well as Social Media Director at New Life Christian Church in Chantilly, VA. He blogs, vlogs, periscopes and podcasts regularly about student and online ministry stuff. Check out his work at YMSidekick.com and on iTunes (search YMSidekick).

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