For those of you who know me well, you know that I am not a great flyer. This is probably due to the fact that I do not experience it near enough (hint, hint). Anyhow, from the moment I sit in my seat of the airplane, I have a death grip on the armrest or my husband’s arm and I am intent on listening to the instructions given by the flight attendant. The one that always gets me is the one about the oxygen masks. All the passengers are instructed, if the oxygen masks fall from the ceiling, to put on your own before helping anyone next to you. First of all, I fairly certain that if the oxygen masks ever did fall from the ceiling on a flight I was on, I would be passed out on the floor. Anyhow, it seems a little backwards to me, especially as a mother. I generally put the needs of others before my own. However, just like with the oxygen mask, if you are not taking care of yourself, then you cannot possibly help someone else.
This lesson really hit me hard. As I stated, I tend to put myself on the back burner. However, I know that I am not doing my family any good if I fail to take care of myself along the way. I am sure that some of you are familiar with the commandment, “Love your neighbor as much as you love yourself” (Matthew 22:37-39 TLB). We tend to remember the part of loving your neighbor, but then disregard the rest. To be honest, there are times that my neighbors would not want me to love them the same way I love myself. I am my own worst enemy at times. This is not healthy for me or for those around me. However, we are not supposed to go to the other end of the spectrum either – where we think only of ourselves and not anyone else.
Just like yesterday’s challenge of being plugged into our power source, God; we need to think of Him as our oxygen source today. In order to have the correct view of ourselves, we need to be connected with God. It is so important not to get our identity from those around us or society in general. Our true identity comes only through Christ. When we have a relationship with God and are connected with Him, then our identity is tied to Him and the lies swirling around will not affect us.
Besides our physical well-being, there is also our emotional well-being. Many people function based solely on their emotions. For me, these tend to fluctuate a lot, even in the course of a day, at times. Therefore, I cannot let my emotions dictate my life. I loved this part in the chapter, “We may not be able to control what we feel, but we definitely can control what we do with those emotions” (37). We choose how we will react to any given situation. However, if God is our anchor, then we will not be tossed around in the storms of our emotions. One of my favorite verses would have to be in Second Timothy, “For God gave us a spirit not of fear, but of power and love and self-control” (2 Timothy 1:7 ESV). It reminds me that no matter what I am facing, I do not need to be afraid, because God will give me the power, love and self-control to face it.
Getting back to the oxygen mask on the airplane. In life, you cannot give out God’s oxygen, if you are not first connected to it yourself. This is not being selfish, it is essential for not only your life, but also all those who come in contact with you.
Questions to Consider:
- How would you rate your overall health? What is the greatest challenge for you in this area? What changes can you start to make to help you work through these challenges?
- Spend some time today writing about specific goals you have regarding your overall health that you will be working on in the remainder of the month. Make certain that the goals are realistic and measurable.
- Devote time today to working on your overall health. Please comment below on what you did during this time.