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  • Rodney Lee Mills

Set Time Aside for Yourself

Do you feel like sometimes you are at your wits end? Are you constantly worn out from the multiple tasks and responsibilities on your plate? If you are like me, you find yourself overextended at times and find it hard to accomplish all the things you need to accomplish let alone have enough time set aside for yourself. We were never meant to be constantly busy. If you think about it, the average adult should get about seven to eight hours of sleep a day. That means that almost one-third of your life should be spent sleeping. Luckily for some of us, we are blessed to have a five-day workweek. This at least carves out two extra days where we are not “suppose” to work. Can you imagine life without a weekend? Even those of us who are fortunate enough to have the weekends off and get 7-8 hours of sleep a night, we can still find ourselves spent at the end of each day. What we all need is true rest, time for reflection, and the recouping of mental, physical and spiritual energy lost.

The need to recharge reminds of a scene out of the movie The Battle of Midway. If you are not familiar with the storyline, it is about a major battle in the Pacific during World War II. The United States was in a major conflict with Japan and the outcome of Midway would eventually sway the war in the direction of the victor. In the movie, planes were blasting off the aircraft carriers as they set out for combat. As planes took off, they were equipped with enough fuel, ammunition and bombs to conduct their mission which eventually led to a US victory. The lesson I learned from this scene was that even though the aircrafts left with enough fuel and armament to do their mission, they couldn’t stay out there forever. Eventually the fuel and weaponry would be spent and the planes would have to return to get refueled and loaded up again with munitions. Not a single aircraft could stay in the air and in the battle indefinitely.

I feel that we as individuals are very similar. In some ways, we are like those planes in that we set out to do “battle” every day. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not a life or death situation for some of us but we do sometimes experience situations that feel like we are in a “battle”. These battles can be in the form of fighting various situations, people and obstacles. The constant back and forth in these areas can leave us mentally and physically spent. My question to you is, “what are you doing to reload?” In other words, what are you doing to rearm and refuel yourself for the next day? Just like the aircraft, we can’t “stay out there” forever.

For me, I personally try to have quiet times where I spend my time reflecting on the day’s events and praying for understanding, peace and patience for those situations that have been trying for me. I also make it a habit to attend church in person every weekend. I have to confess that I have often fallen into the trap of watching a sermon on TV or online versus actually going to church. Although this is better than not going at all, being there in person charges my batteries and gets me away from the distractions of my day-to-day activities. These times of prayer, reflection, and worship allow me to gain a fresh perspective on my life and to reload for the upcoming day’s or week’s challenges. It’s in these times of reflection that I find that I get a nugget of understanding, new information, or encouragement that gives me what I need to get back into battle. Another thing I try to do Is to spend quality time with my family and friends. Having that interaction reminds me that I am not alone and it also allows me to recharge my batteries by spending time with those I care about. When I don’t take the time to do these things, I definitely notice a difference.

I hope that you will take a look at your own life and determine if you are setting enough time for yourself, your family, and friends. By ensuring you have enough quality time set aside for yourself and those close to you, you can build a strong foundation you can rely on when you come home after a hard day’s work. Because in the same way those planes couldn’t do it alone and do it forever, we too have to take time to get out of the battle and take time to rest, reflect and reload before taking on the world again.

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