Wednesday, October 16, 2013

In Relief Society on Sunday the lesson was on service. I think. The teacher started out by reading John 21:15-17

 15 ¶So when they had dined, Jesus saith to Simon Peter, Simon,son of Jonas, lovest thou me more than these? He saith unto him, Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I love thee. He saith unto him, Feed my lambs.
 16 He saith to him again the second time, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me? He saith unto him, Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I love thee. He saith unto him, aFeed my sheep.
 17 He saith unto him the third time, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me? Peter was grieved because he said unto him the third time, Lovest thou me? And he said unto him, Lord, thou knowest all things; thou knowest that I love thee. Jesus saith unto him,aFeed my bsheep.

I'm sure the lesson was great but I kinda stopped listening when, while she was reading that scripture and beginning to talk about how we should be serving others, I had an Ah-ha moment. I realized I am one of His sheep.

I am one of His Sheep!

If I love Him I need to take care of Me.

This is of course not to discount the importance of serving others and being kind and compassionate and clothing the naked and feeding the hungry, etc., etc., etc. That is all very important. It is what Jesus did and what He is doing and what He wants us to do. We are to be His hands on earth.

Yes, we are to feed His sheep by taking care of our families, serving in the church and in the community BUT are we supposed to do it at the expense of ourselves? Are we supposed to give every last drop of everything we have until we are too tired to work or serve or help any more?

I don't think so.

There's also plenty in scripture that talks of moderation or temperance(2 Peter 1:6(4-8)). We are told to "retire to thy bed early" (D&C 88:124). There is plenty of instruction on feeding the body and the spirit. In Isaiah 40 and Doctrine and Covenants 89 we read " . .they shall run and not be weary, and they shall walk and not faint." This has always been a perplexing phrasing to me. I've always wondered why it doesn't say they shall walk and not be weary and run and not faint. Don't you think it would be more likely to faint from running than walking? As I have started running the past few years and have trained for long distances (and am getting ready to do a half marathon on Saturday!) it has taken on a different meaning to me. I am learning that to be able to run and not be weary takes a lot of personal preparation.

First, I have to practice running. I have to practice running slow and practice fast. I have to practice running and then walking and then running again (called interval training). I have to practice running short distances fast and long distances slow. I have to practice pacing myself so that I can continue running the full distance. Sometimes that means I have to run a LOT slower than I want to so that I can make it all the way to the end. Second to prepare, I have to eat right. I am always amazed to see the change in my performance and recovery on weeks when I have been eating junk food or had caffeine or not enough water. If I want to run well I have to watch what goes into my body. And Third, to run and not be weary I need to rest. That is something I am learning the hard way right now. I've always gotten plenty of sleep but sometimes we need an off season. The past few months my body has been begging for an off season and I don't just mean with running.

Isaiah 40: 29-31
 29 He giveth power to the faint; and to them that have no might he increaseth strength.
 30 Even the youths shall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall:
 31 But they that await upon the Lord shall brenew their cstrength; they shall mount up with wings as deagles; they shall erun, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.

I am one of His Sheep. I know He loves me and wants me to be happy and healthy. I'm not falling apart here. I'm not dying, incapacitated, or having a total meltdown. I'm just a little weary, tired. I know it is OK to wait, to recover, to rest up and retire early (before I am too, too tired). I know my strength will be renewed and I will be able to continue running my race, feeding His sheep. Right now it is time for me to walk and that is OK.

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