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Strength to Care

Lessons from Matthew & Isaac – Our CHARGE Syndrome Journey

Maintenance and rest…

This past week I was able to take some much-needed time off from work and spend it at home having a little guy time with Matthew as Theresa and the girls went to the other side of the state for a dog show.

In between the books that I read to Matthew and the book I was reading Matthew and I took the time for an outing to do some errands. The last stop was to get a much-needed oil change on my vehicle. I have to admit, I was a little overdue for getting it done. It got me thinking about the whole “standard” of when to get the oil changed. The oil change places have engrained in us and are barking out the every 3,000 mile mantra…although it maybe a little self-serving. The actual manual for my vehicle says every 5,000 miles. After a search of experts and forums on the internet the result yielded was between 5,000 and 10,000 miles…but that is based on the type of driving you do and conditions in which you drive. While all of this was going through my head I look over at Matthew while the oil change is going on. He had this very focused look on his face, trying to take in all of the sounds that were happening under and around the car. Every so often he would smile after the sound of an air wrench in the background.

The oil change, greasing the joints and topping off of fluids always seems to put a spring in the step of my ever-growing older car. Afterall, it is approaching a quarter of a million miles on it. This maintenance experience and taking a few days off started a thought process that made me look at my own maintenance schedule. What is the recommended “service” schedule for you and me? What is God asking of me when it comes to prayer and taking a break for a time of rest.

Prayer: Paul and Timothy in their letter the Thessalonians encouraged their brothers to “pray without ceasing” (1 Thessalonians 5:17). Does that mean they were to pray every second of the day? Probably not, but I take it to mean that they are to take on the very heart of God, seeking his wisdom and guidance in everything they say and do throughout the day…more like a conversation with a friend would be. Paul also mentioned this in his letter to the Philippians by telling them “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God” (Philippians 4:6).

Rest and Relaxation: “Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth” (Psalm 46:10). “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls” (Matthew 11:28-29). I know that it isn’t always easy to take time to rest and sit in God’s presence. But, I also know that when I do take the time to be still and relax and share the things that I have allowed to burden me I come away from it refreshed.

Kevin patting Matthew, Sarah Anne patting Kevin

“When was the last time you spent a quiet moment just doing nothing – just sitting and looking at the sea, or watching the wind blowing the tree limbs, or waves rippling on a pond, a flickering candle or children playing in the park?”  Ralph Marston Author of The Daily Motivator

What is your service schedule…are you due for a change?