BY REV. DR. SARAH ROHRET
CALVARY UMC -- ARNOLDS PARK
"If you are judging people, you have no time to love them."
May and June are often the season of big changes. Graduation, weddings, moving and new jobs as well as the regular end of the school year and beginning of summer.
No matter how happy the change you experience in your life, all change brings with it some stress, anxiety, loss and grief. Our society tends to overlook this fact and gloss over the emotional toll that change brings. We are told by commercials/media/each other to "be ready for anything," "just do it," "get over it," etc.
But God made humankind in God's image, the image of a deeply loving and caring heart. In Jesus, we see God walking around the world in a human body. Jesus experiences stress and handles it by spending time away alone and in prayer (Luke 6:12, Luke 22:39, Matthew 14:13).
We see Jesus accepting the anointing of his head and his feet -- Biblical permission to get a massage (John 12: 3)! We see Jesus talking with his friends, eating, napping, and walking. We see God taking care of himself in this human body which shows us that we too should take care of ourselves and these bodies that God has given us.
So in the midst of whatever change you are going through, be as kind to yourself as Jesus was to himself.
Take time away to be alone in a garden, park or by the lake. Talk to God about what you are going through. Take a nap. Get a massage. Walk.
Talk with friends who allow you to express your feelings (both good and bad) without judgement. They are true friends indeed.
When you get on a plane and are going through that safety speech, parents are always told to put on their oxygen masks first. This is so they will be awake to care for their children. We have to care for ourselves, our bodies, minds and spirits, or we are no good for our families, friends and coworkers. Care for yourself so that you can "love your neighbor as yourself."
Be kind and give yourself and others grace in the midst of change. God will be with you and bless you through every season of life.