“Dear friend, I pray that you may enjoy good health and that all may go well with you, even as your soul is getting along well.” 3 John 1:2 

On a recent Southwest flight, my attention was drawn to the safety instructions of the flight attendant. “In the event of a change in cabin pressure, four oxygen masks will drop from the compartment overhead. To activate the flow of oxygen pull down on the cord and place the mask over your mouth and nose with the yellow strap and breathe normally. Although you may not see the tube inflate, oxygen will be flowing through the tube. Please put your mask on first before assisting others.”

Sisters in Christ, how would your life be different if those words were applied to your journey of health and well-being? Sometimes we become so preoccupied in assisting others that we either neglect or defer our own self/ soul care. Or maybe, we experience guilt over taking time for our own personal care. This preoccupation and neglect of caring for our minds, bodies, and spirits may go unnoticed until we begin to have external symptoms.

God loves us completely - mind, body, and spirit. We are to remember our bodies are the temple of the Holy Spirit and that these temples require proper maintenance. Let’s not wait until there is a change in cabin pressure, or when we begin to experience signs of oxygen deprivation to put on our mask to receive the life giving, life sustaining renewal and restoration of the Holy Spirit. We have permission by God to put on our mask first. This is not to negate the complex demands and obligations of family, work, and our personal lives. Our ability to make a difference for the kingdom is enhanced when we pay attention to our health and well-being. An African proverb illustrates this point: “before healing others, heal yourself.”

As you embark upon this journey of wholistic health and well-being just remember whether your days are peaceful or chaotic, or the cabin pressure changes, reach up and put your mask on first, inhale deeply from the source of our existence, before you assist others. 

Action Step: What one step will you take this week to apply your mask first as it relates to your journey of better health mind, body, and spirit?

Prayer: Precious Lord teach us to put on our own mask before assisting others so that we will enjoy good health and that all may go well with us, even as our souls are getting along well.

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