"How is it with your body and soul?" This is the question that we, as Cabinet members, are asked each time we gather. Bishop Watson has faithfully asked us for my entire 5 years, "How is it with you body and soul?" He takes this from Mr. Wesley, obviously, as it was a question that John Wesley put to all those in his Cell Groups. (Don't worry. I'm not talking about our Cell Groups today!) Well, even Mr. Wesley did not think of this himself; he got it from scripture. In the third epistle of John, III John 2, you find these words:
"Beloved, I pray that all may go well with you and that you may be in good health, just as it is well with your soul."
This is a fair question for all those seeking to follow Jesus Christ. It is an even more pertinent question for those of us who follow Christ and answer His call to ordained ministry. We tend to take care of others first, and we tend to do religious work so as not to let anyone in the Kingdom down. We look out for the young children, the aged, and those seeking counsel with their own spiritual walk; we also visit (well many still do) from house to house. We prepare masterpieces of exegetical expository and hermeneutical masterpieces (uh ... we work to prepare a good sermon) week after week. When and how do we take care of our own bodies and our own souls?
I have heard it said, "If the shepherd is sick, there is no one to care for the sheep." Well, that is not totally true in our system, but I think you get the point. If you aren't at your best, then you can't be your best for those whom God has placed you in charge of for this season. We know all this. I even remember them talking to us about it in seminary back in the dark ages! But what about being held accountable to it?
Yes, at times we have so much to do in the Cabinet, and I always am hesitant to say too much about my struggles; after all, DSs are supposed to be perfect and to have it all together. Yet, when I share with my sisters and brothers the struggles such as weight gain, too much sitting at the desk, or even not taking the time to read the Upper Room or some other form of devotion, it convicts me. I try harder during the next few weeks to get better and to also ask them and others for help in getting better. I'm thankful that the Bishop keeps asking us this question, because I know he cares and wants the best for us.
Whom do you have to keep you honest and to ask you, "How is it with your body and soul?" I pray that you have someone and that they hold you accountable to be the best you can be. I care about each one of you. I pray that you will care about yourself, too.
Post Script: In total transparency, I am tired and anxious that we all do well in this appointive season. I will also be having minor surgery on April 20 for a skin cancer on my face, so I'm very anxious about that. I fly to Portugal immediately after that surgery. Just a few things giving me pause both body and soul-wise. I covet your prayers.