Last week was a rough one for me physically…
First I came down with some kind of a stomach bug on Monday (thankfully was better by Tuesday night) and then struggled with some discouragement/depression Friday morning.
Both of those experiences were good reminders that missions calls for physical care as well as spiritual
It’s easy in ministry to overlook the importance of taking care of yourself with habits such as:
- Proper diet
- Plenty of sleep
- Drinking lots of water (especially in a tropical climate)
- And paying attention to “warning signals” your body may be sending
However I’ve learned the hard way ignoring your physical health has disastrous effects on ministry (God can’t use you when your throwing up, and the rooms spinning).
Because of this I’ve made the habit of taking “cat naps” part of my ministry schedule.
Because the weather here is so hot I tend to rise early when its cool (before 5:00) so by afternoon my body is usually dragging. My mind in particular is in a fog since much of my work is mentally taxing (sermon prep, theology notes, Revelation classes). So every afternoon after lunch I turn on the air-conditioning, get in bed, and sleep for at least 30 minutes.
At first this was difficult because my body told me there was plenty of work left to do, but after skipping my cat nap for a few days I realized that thirty-minutes of rest led to much greater productivity.
Yes it is possible to push through and continuing to work, but its amazing how much of a difference even ten or fifteen minutes of rest can make.
Though rough physical days are no fun, I’m thankful for them because they create patterns of rest in life. Rest that allows me to serve the Lord with a physical as well as spiritual excellence.