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2020 Treasures: What Is Meant to Last
“Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
Matthew 6:19-21 ESV
Remember that pink Post-It note that I have been looking at every day for a year? I just found it under some yellow Post-It notes on my desk. I put it back up at eye level, but the glue's stickiness will not keep it there. That doesn't matter, though. The words are stuck in my heart and mind. That is the reason for placing a Post-It note at eye level for a year anyway. The note itself may lose its grip, but I am gripping those words with everything that's in me.
I don't know about you, but I've learned during this year of extreme uncertainty what matters and what doesn't. These verses say it best. Where I live, we are heading into another pandemic surge. I am seeing this time as yet another opportunity to purge. Certainly this intention includes deciding what tangibles in my home are to be kept, tossed, donated, or repurposed. But, there are other abstract areas in my life I need to declutter as well.
My youngest son is taking a well-being class that I also took as a college freshman. He is doing what he needs to do for the class, but it is not his favorite. Some of what he has shared that is discussed doesn't sound like it should be in a Christian well-being class based on ideology or theology. But, this is his class, and his time to discern what he will keep and toss from it. What I remember most about my well-being class is the four areas of well-being that need to be balanced. I have written about these in other posts, but let's review shall we?
Physical Well-Being: Eat well. Exercise. Sounds simple, right? I have to admit that I struggle with this piece of my well-being the most. I'm either too focused that I forget to eat or I'm eating too much of the wrong thing. Life's curveballs can sidewind me away from tracking carbs. I don't sit at my desk all day long. At some point, I need to move. But, that isn't always going for that nature walk with the dogs. Most of the time, it is cleaning or vacuuming. Certainly there's nothing wrong with that. But, why deprive myself (and my dogs) of a good long walk?
Our physical well-beings are being challenged this year by stay-at-home orders. Yet, I saw more people walking this spring that ever before. The breeders I know have waiting lists for puppies. That's future dog-walking! My husband and I tried to upgrade our bicycles. They are backordered! We don't have much of an excuse to stay inside if the weather is amenable.
Yet, this is my struggle. A work-out is what I need to continue to work out in my daily routine. On inclement days, I'll accept that as cleaning. But, today looks amenable for a walk.
Whatever your physical struggle might be, I encourage you to do what you are able to do when you are able to do it. If we are to walk this journey socially distancing, maybe we can wave to each other while passing by along the path.
Emotional Well-Being: This is my second struggle. Although at the moment, I feel pretty good. I have been writing, reading, and knitting. I have added hobbies to my life--piano lessons and art journaling--and I am planning to add some related ones next year such as lettering and sketching. Again, this stay-at-home, social distancing time is an opportunity to build up emotional fortitude with hobbies. We can be social with these, too. My Facebook feed is filled with posts from my art journal group. Much better than what I was seeing a few months back. You can choose what and who you want to see on social media. So, fill your feed with something worth seeing.
Mental Well-Being: I tend to do well with my mental well-being. I love to learn new things, so I'm always reading or studying something. But, there is a lot of time to think these days. Ruminating can be a pitfall for me because my mind wanders to places I'm better off not revisiting. I know not everyone likes to read. Why not listen? Turn on an audiobook. Crank up some tunes. Turn off the television! (There's never anything good on anyway!) Tune into something that will help clear your mind of the cluttering thoughts you'd rather not think about anyway.
Spiritual Well-Being: This is my favorite part of well-being. Honestly, I think it is the most important one. If spiritual well-being is flourishing, then everything else is more in sync.
I'm going to be direct here. I'm not referring to being "spiritual" or "religious." True spiritual well-being is founded on faith in Jesus Christ. There is not other way to find it except through Him.
But, we can't go to church. Maybe not physically, but there are live streams. Church isn't a building. It's a body of believers. Maybe we have to Zoom from our own upper rooms, but that's better than not meeting at all.
We can open our days with the Bible and prayer. We are supposed to do that anyway. I can speak from experience that my emotional and mental well-being remains intact with this daily discipline. If we claim a personal faith, then it must start with being personal with God and spending time with Him.
Speaking of time, we seem to have more than we want these days. Let's find a way to treasure it with what matters and what will last. Pick one of these areas of well-being and start. I'm going to get on my walking shoes.