While driving home from the office recently, I saw quite a few birds flying in a V-shape. And even though I took a sharp turn, I couldn’t help but look up for a few seconds. What a fascinating sight. Because they use their energy so intelligently, the birds can travel up to 5,000 kilometers in three days. We can learn something from that…
Too little rest
Because sometimes it all becomes too much for me. Family, household, work at Royal Mission, work at R3NEW. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy it and I wouldn’t have it any other way; but it is a lot. And keep a good balance, good self-leadership; that remains a challenge. I can have a hard time, especially the weeks just after the summer holidays. I then get back to work full of enthusiasm. And although I decided to keep the rest that I enjoyed so much during the holiday period, my headache a few weeks later tells me that it didn’t work out. Ran too fast, set the bar too high, but above all; not getting enough rest.
Monkeys on your shoulder
It is almost inevitable that many people recognize this. The feeling of always having to do so much. Only to fail structurally. All kinds of monkeys on your shoulder who won’t leave you alone until you’ve done what they ask of you. And when one monkey is gone, a new one jumps towards you. No peace in your mind. No peace in your heart.
A light burden
I don’t believe this is the life God envisions for me, for us. After all, Jesus himself says it; “My yoke is easy, and my burden is light” (Matt. 11:30). Why then do we impose a yoke of slavery on ourselves by asking so much of ourselves? Because although we often (unconsciously) think that others expect everything from us, we do it to ourselves. Self-leadership means making choices. Provide enough peace and space for yourself and also give this to others if necessary.
The kingdom of God
I’m super excited about the kingdom of God. About His restoration plan for the world and I am very curious about what life will be like on the new earth. I can’t imagine it realistically, but I do know one thing; it is stress free and we will enjoy all the good things of God. In this life I want to search for and help build God’s kingdom. I always linked that to action, but I am increasingly learning that enjoying peace and quiet is also part of it. Maybe even a condition.
When birds fly in a V-shape, they tune their wing beats exactly to the bird flying in front. The wing beats of the bird in front create an air pressure shift that is absorbed exactly by the birds flying behind it and by keeping the right distance from the bird in front, they benefit optimally from this air pressure shift. The birds behind you therefore need less energy to move forward. And when the lead bird is tired, it switches places with another bird. Speaking of sustainable energy…
Taking care of yourself
You don’t always have to be the front bird. You can lean on the air pressure displacement of the birds in front of you. The world won’t collapse if you move back a little. Take care of yourself so that you can take care of others when they need it.
Matthew 6:26 says, “Look at the birds of the air: they do not sow, nor reap, nor store storehouses, but your Heavenly Father feeds them. Aren’t you worth more than them?” Nature shows God’s loving heart in so many ways. Those birds there in V-shape do not perform well and yet God ensures that they do not lack anything. How much more does He want to care for you, for you, for me.
A good intention
I have now learned to listen carefully to my body. As soon as the physical signals occur, I take a step back and see what can be done differently. For example, you can sit comfortably in the garden chair while the floor begs for a mop. But this year I want to go one step further. The physical signals are for it. Yes, I enjoy hard work too, but from a place of peace. Making the right choices. On the wings of the wind. That is my good intention for 2021 and I wish you and yours that freedom!