I’ve had a stressful experience in the last few weeks. I was asked to participate as a volunteer in a certain ministry, for sure a very worthy cause. My involvement would be to answer queries that come in Spanish.
Just because something is a worthy cost doesn’t mean I should be involved in it. As soon as I started answering the emails that came in my chest started beating violently and my heart raced. I thought I was having a heart attack. I should have picked up on it immediately, because it has happened to me before. It was a warning sign! Like someone was telling me to back off.
I realized this volunteering was going to require much more of my time and energy as I had first thought. It concerned me because of all the projects I have going on. But I hate to go back on my word.
This morning I had an answer straight from heaven, in just a few words from the Song of Solomon: “…my own vineyard I have neglected” (1:6).
The woman is talking to her beloved, telling him that she had to take care of her mother’s sons vineyards, and thus she neglected her own vineyard.
I have now backed off and my heart feels light and my chest is not tight. Lesson learned: not because something is a good cause, it should be my cause. In this case my “vineyard” is the web ministry I have. I would have been helping out another ministry but at the expense of my own. That is what God warned my about by making my heart almost beat out of my chest.
Years ago the Lord used this same scripture to show me how important it is that I take care of the “vineyard” of my soul. I was busy taking care of other people’s vineyards, teaching teachers. A very worthy cause, but the “cause” could cause havoc to my soul.
We all have out limits, which we have to guard. Thus comes my question: Are you tending to your vineyard?
- A mother can be so busy tending to her family that she neglects her own needs.
- A father can be so busy making money to support his family that his own needs go unmet.
- A pastor can be tending to his flock and at the same time neglecting his own spiritual development.
- A teacher can be busy making sure her students receive the best care and forget to care for her personal needs.
- A volunteer can be so heavily involved in non-profits that at the end her soul has no profit.
I could go on but I think you get the picture. We need to make an inventory to assure that our own vineyard is not neglected.
Are you tending to your vineyard? The better care you give to your vineyard the better you will be able to care for others.
Sometimes it is merciful to say no! That’s just what I did today. And it feels good!