Reading time: less than two minutes. (It’s Lent!) The Church of Jesus needs you, and they need you at your best. That sounds like a lot of extra pressure and stress, unless you consider that your best is not all that great. I’m sorry. but you’re not Jesus. You’re not perfect. I love to call myself, “The World’s Okayest Pastor.” That’s the best I’ve got. The Lord has blessed me with gifts and a calling. I’m not the most gifted and I don’t have the most influential calling, but I do want to give it my best. That means taking care of myself. Today I’ll offer a couple of simple suggestions for you so that in this extra busy season of Lent, you’ll have the best chance of being at your best when the ministry you serve needs you most! 1. Sleep! It’s the reset button for human beings. This is a season for creativity. Jumping out of bed without your mind fully rested hinders your thinking and your creative energies. I once said to a pastor friend while sitting on his office couch, “Sometimes I just feel like laying down in the middle of the day and taking a nap!” He looked at me like I was crazy! He said, “I’ve taken a nap on that couch practically every day for the last 30 years!” Oops. Get your rest. You’ll be a better servant of the Word when you do. 2. Eat Well. You can decide whether this is a season for intentional fasting as a spiritual discipline. A strong craving for a food we love can help turn our hearts toward the One we love more. But this is definitely a season to eat well. When we eat a balanced diet with lots of food the way God made it (fruits, vegetables, whole grains, easy on the meat) our bodies work better. We’ll have more energy, vitality and more “response-ability,” the willingness and ability to get up and go when the Lord calls. 3. Take a Hike! When we’re extra busy, the regular fitness workouts seem to be the first thing to go. A couple of early morning meetings throw off my whole schedule for the week. So when you get a chance, when there’s a pause in your schedule in the middle of the day or before dinner or early in the morning, take a hike. Get out in the fresh air if the weather suits you and take a brisk walk. Thirty minutes a day is the ideal, but the mid-day 5-10 minute walk can change your energy, adjust your mood and set the blood flow going. I’m praying for your vigor and vitality so that in this busy season you can give those you serve your (less than perfect!) very best! Thanks for reading!