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Four Practices for a Healthy Year

CATEGORIES: News, Home Page

written by Todd Fields, Worship Circle

Originally posted on

A few years ago as I was taking time for a sabbatical a friend reminded me of one of the greatest commands that Jesus passed on to us: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” 

For many of us in ministry, our lives can be so focused on reaching others and caring for others that we live unaware of the need of the care of our own souls. The “as yourself” part Jesus mentioned is often missed and as a result our body, soul, and spirit can be spinning at a pace that doesn’t allow us to actually be present with God, ourselves, or anyone else in a real way. If we can pay attention to caring for ourselves…others will definitely benefit.

The following practices can help us pay attention and also become more aware of what we need.

Slow Down

For much of my life I’ve been in a hurry…without even knowing it. I’ve learned that good things rarely happen fast. Sending that text or email too soon without slowing down to be still and let the emotions pass is usually not a good thing. If you find yourself running at a pace that seems fast, be ok to be curious about the why. 

Are you afraid you’ll miss out? Where does that come from? 

Bring the pace of your life to God. Ask Him to help you pinpoint the insecurity or fear that could be driving your fast paced life.

Be Present

As worship leaders we make it our life’s aim to help people experience God’s presence. Oftentimes we neglect paying attention to experience His presence ourselves.

For us to make it a practice of becoming aware of God’s presence in all things each day…in the profound and the mundane will only go to help us and those we lead experience that same presence.

Open your eyes to God’s beauty in creation, friends, and family around you. Go on a walk and pay attention to the simple good things in life and make time to “get away” like Jesus did to be still and silent with Him. You will be blessed and everyone you lead and those in your family will as well.

Yes’s and No’s

Some of us have a problem with saying yes to everything for fear that we will miss out. I know this has been true for me throughout my life. Matthew 5:37 reminds us to let our “yes be yes and our no be no.”

I’ve learned that a good “no” can leave room for God to meet me in those spaces and for my life to be balanced.

Look at your calendar and make sure you have margin to rest and allow God to minister to you in those spaces. Jesus said no many times. He was God in a body and He modeled what our bodies need. He withdrew often to lonely places to help us know that down time is needed to live well. 

Arrive On Time

Years ago a youth pastor friend shared this principle with me. He said, “Todd…if you are on time you’re late.” I didn’t understand…he then said, “always show up 5 minutes early to any meeting or event you’re a part of…that is on time.”

I never forgot this word of advice and so to end, I’m sharing it with you. By arriving at least 5 minutes early to everything, you give yourself time to come down from whatever you just experienced and prepare to be your best at the next thing. Being even 1 minute late can become a habit that people mark you by. Once this happens trust is eroded.

We get one name in this life. Let yours be one that’s dependable and on time.


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