The other day an interesting item came across my inbox; at least the first sentence was very interesting because I decided to save it and read it when I had more time. I put it in a very safe place and now I can’t find it. I checked all the usual places starting with my trash folder and moving all the way to Twitter and nothing.
I’ve been thinking about the one line for days (and of course I am paraphrasing) Jesus took time to take care of himself. I thought, “really, did he?” And then I remembered some scripture verses: “but he would withdraw to deserted places to pray” (Luke 5:16) and “Rising before dawn, he left and went off to a deserted place, where he prayed” (Mark 1:35) and “…he went up on the mountain by himself to pray. When it was evening he was alone” (Mt 14:23).
As I turned this around in my head and let it settle in my soul I started to understand better my need for rest. I am not good at resting. When I rise before dawn I ruminate, but not in a good way; prayer is hard for me at that hour unless begging to fall asleep again counts. Jesus goes off to pray, on his own, away from his closest companions to be with his Father. I am able to go off and pray alone, but I find I am distracted not by people but by tasks.
It is the same when I work on my brain dump list. My house can be totally quiet, no one home but me and I find things that need my attention. I should fold the laundry, dust, tidy up some corner of the house or pull weeds. Do those task need to be done? Yes, but not at the expense of the big picture; of taking care of myself. Besides, except for dusting, my husband does that stuff if it needs doing. I want to be super wife and figure if I am home I should take care of it but I must constantly remind myself that I am home to build a dream not maintain the house.
I circle back to Jesus. Most of the time we focus on Jesus’ kenosis, his self emptying, forgetting that he was able to do that because he was one with the Father. He knew the divine will and was ready to act on it because he took care of himself. We tend to forget he took care of himself and only remember his self emptying which is not helpful to us or Jesus. Jesus was fully human and fully divine and in his humanity he need to go off by himself.
The message is slowly sinking in…take care of yourself. I will not presume to tell you how to do that; I will tell you this, if Jesus did it, so should we.