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Time Out
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An early 1980's television commercial depicts a woman reaching her stress limit then exclaiming, "The traffic, the boss, the baby, the dog; that does it, Calgon take me away." The next scene shows her quietly submerged in a warm bath of Calgon.

I remembered that commercial a few weeks ago when I almost reached my breaking point. My week went like this:
  • My wife and I had to deal with stressful issues on both sides of our family.
  • Sitting up late one evening I heard a loud thump. In the front, a water runoff ditch lies between the road and our yard. Two teenage boys careened off the road, totaling their car and gouging my yard in the process. After their parents and authorities left, I found myself filling in holes and cleaning up glass and auto debris.
  • There was a clanging noise under my wife's car. The muffler had corroded, broken apart and disconnected from the vehicle requiring us to spend outside our budget to replace the pipe and muffler.
  • Several days later, while driving down the highway pulling a heavily loaded trailer, I suddenly had to slam on my brakes and my truck’s front bakes went out. Replacement was another expensive ordeal.
  • Then another noise: Mid-cycle, our dryer made loud knocking and rattling sounds. The culprit? the drum...yet another chunk out of our now empty budget.
  • The worst! In a hurry to make an appointment, I stood on uneven ground driving stakes into hard clay with a 28 lb. stake driver. I lifted the driver too high, it somehow bounced off the stake and hit my head resulting in an emergency room visit. The blow to the head gave me a concussion, put me in shock with whiplash and a very sore back.  
No Calgon Handy

No Calgon handy, my only remedy was to offer praise to God, thanking Him that my week was not any worse. I didn’t allow it to depress me, however I did spend several days resting, taking vitamins, and simply relaxing.

Psalms 46:10 says, "Be still, and know that I am God..." While Jesus was on Earth, even He went away to rest. Matthew 15:39 is one example outlining how after teaching them, Jesus sent the crowd away so He could recuperate and recharge.

It isn’t necessary that we wait till we reach a breaking point. Everyone needs some down time every now and then; from stress, from work, from all the pressures of life. A few simple, cost-free or nearly so ideas might be:
  • Once a week, at least, go on a walk in nature to recharge and re-energize.
  • Take a family trip a few times a year; you can make it a simple weekend camping trip.
  • If you’re parents of a brood of kids, enlist someone to babysit so that you and your spouse can have a date together—just the two of you.
If we don't take care of our bodies, no one else will.

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By Daniel LaFlair. Copyright © 2013 by GraceNotes. All rights reserved. Use of this material is subject to usage guidelines. Scripture taken from the NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION ®.

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