One of the hardest lessons yet most liberating blessings I have ever embraced in my life is that the best thing that I could do to help anyone else was to help myself.
It is so tempting to stop what we are doing to help someone else, even if what we are doing enables us to help more than one person. It is the stopping that diverts us in our attention from our mission and we get lost in the shuffle.
During this COVID-19 crisis, our church has been very busy. My husband has been running in a thousand different directions to help on many fronts. There are so many people who are going without the basic necessities that it is scary. From coordinating several feeding programs, to ensuring people have housing when they don't have money coming in the door, my husband is really running several marathons at once. I want to help, and I do help, but I want to do more.
And I am. And I do. But I do it best by focusing on my own lane.
I am a financial services attorney and therefore considered essential. I have been working 6 days a week 16 to 18-hour days for several weeks now and that will continue for a while. The best thing that I can do to help my husband is to continue to maintain my health and my good cheer. The best thing that I can do for my clients is to continue to be focused and work in excellence. The best thing that I can do for myself is to continue to pray and meditate and exercise daily.
The last sentence here is the key. The best thing that I can do for myself. If I break down, then none of the other things above matter. Not my clients, not supporting my husband, not anything. Because I won't be around to do any of that.
When we are strong at our core, we are allowed to share that strength with other people. When the core is weak, as soon as we try to stretch out to let a hand, we break apart. We see the truth that in nature. A strong tree that is well rooted in the ground has branches and leaves and bears good fruit. And weak tree whose roots are close to the surface and never had an opportunity to take root, when it tries to grow out, it topples over.
Don't topple over. Ensure that your roots are anchored in the ground. Then reach out and help.
Stay strong. Stay focused. Eclipse the fear.