by: Ellene Meece
My mama always said, "A stitch in time, saves nine." Meaning: if you do preventive maintenance, you will save yourself a lot of trouble, and you won't unravel in the midst of living.
Every day we are faced with the choice of scheduling in maintenance or letting it go too far and facing the consequences. This ranges from keeping our computers and our vehicles humming to maintaining everything around the house such as routine cleaning of the filter of a washing machine or the endless household chores that maintain order, such as doing laundry, cleaning the stove, or mowing the lawn.
In the business world there is definitely scheduled maintenance that not only consists of maintaining the technology and machinery but also maintaining human resources and attitude levels.
So, in the scheme of scheduling maintenance, where have we slotted in time to maintain ourselves-spirit, soul and body? And what are the consequences if we don't?
A lecturer, when explaining stress management to an audience, raised a glass of water and asked, "How heavy is this glass of water?" Answers called out ranged from 8 ounces to 20 ounces.
The lecturer replied, "The absolute weight doesn't matter. It depends on how long you try to hold it. If I hold it for a minute, that's not a problem. If I hold it for an hour, I'll have an ache in my right arm. If I hold it for a day, you'll have to call an ambulance.
"In each case, it's the same weight, but the longer I hold it, the heavier it becomes." He continued, "And that's the way it is with stress management. If we carry our burdens all the time, sooner or later, as the burden becomes increasingly heavy, we won't be able to carry on.
"As with the glass of water, you have to put it down for a while and rest before holding it again. When we're refreshed, we can carry on with the burden."
Maintaining our bodies can mean taking time to prepare healthy food choices, going for a long walk to breathe fresh air and always giving ourselves permission to rest from the daily burdens of life.
Maintaining our souls can mean nurturing ourselves with enjoyable hobbies and edifying friends. It also means giving the important relationships in our life the time they deserve.
Maintaining our spirit simply means communing with the One who designed us and knows us and loves us unconditionally. It's not about duty or being a 'model' Christian. It's about staying connected so that we don't put ourselves into jeopardy of failure by trying to be and do and live without His sustenance.
So schedule yourself in! When you schedule that next oil change for your car, schedule a lunch date with an old friend, schedule family night with your kids, schedule a day to try out new healthy recipes, schedule a "date" with your spouse and for sure, schedule time to relax in the Father's presence and read His love letters just to you. It could be that scheduling in these maintenance events is your "stitch in time" to save heartache and heavy repair later!
Ellene Meece lives in Meeker, Colorado and works with her husband in their natural resource company while running her own online store, Grandma's Treasures Online.
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