A few years ago, I woke up one day and realized that I had teenagers who would go to college in a few years. In my mind, this meant that my wife and I would be in a position to stop working or at least we could work less.
BY CEDRIC NELMS
So, I began to do research on what it would take for us to retire. My wife and I had retirement accounts at our places of employment. After reviewing our accounts, I realized we needed to increase our monthly deposits to our retirement accounts if we wanted to be comfortable during our golden years. After weighing different options, we decided to double our deposits into our retirement accounts.
Typically, most people are good at making investments into retirement accounts, knowing they will need it one day. But, not everyone is good at making investments into their “YOU” account for the sake of personal overall well being. Most pastors I know have to intentionally work on investing in themselves. I know that I am good at giving myself away for the sake of others, but when it is time for me time, there is nothing left in the tank.
If you are like me, we want to make sure that everybody else is taken care of and as a result, we forget about ourselves. In this season, we need to be sure that we invest in ourselves, like we invest in retirement accounts. If we can invest in accounts that grow over time and be patient with the ups and downs of a stock market that we do not have control over, we can be patient with the ups and downs that we will experience and invest in our dreams. So, how do we invest in ourselves? How do we give ourselves some me time?
1. Find a quiet place to be by yourself. It is good to find a place where you can deal with your thoughts and listen to your heart.
2. Take the time to deal with the physical, spiritual, and mental part of your being. Some people do this through prayer or meditation.
3. Read, Read, and Read. It is good to read as much as possible. It is good to read books, articles, blogs, etc.
4. Treat yourself to a You Day. You should have a day when you spend time with yourself. Either going to the spa, having a personal grooming day, or catch a movie. Do what you enjoy.
These are just some of the tools I use to invest in myself. The list is not an exhaustive list. Ultimately, how you invest is according to your unique design. As pastors, we should take the time to invest into ourselves and begin the process of appreciating ourselves.
When we go down the road of investing in ourselves, we will find out that there may be hurts we need to face, old family wounds that need healing, past thoughts that need processing, and some emotions that need adjusting.
Even when we look at the life of Jesus, it is clear He took the time to invest in himself. Jesus, throughout His ministry, took time away from the disciples, the crowd, and from the assignment to invest in Himself through prayer, fasting, and intimacy with the Father.
When we look at our lives, we must realize that our ability to help others is only possible if we are in a healthy state. As pastors we have to be in a position to be, not only USED by God but USEFUL for our families and ourselves.
My prayer is that you will take some time to invest in YOU today.
Rev. Cedric J. Nelms is Lead Pastor at Chosen Generation Fellowship Church. On the web: www.cjnministries.com
Purchase Pastor Cedric’s Book, “Get Me Through…The Makeover of My Life” at Amazon.