The Mythical Land of When Things Settle Down – Devotional

During an ordination interview, a candidate was challenged about self-care. Had he been working hard enough at working less?

[Jesus said] “Come to me, all you who are weary and are carrying heavy burdens, and I will give you rest.” – Matthew 11:28 (NRSVUE)

You could feel him tense.

No, he snapped. He hadn’t mastered self-care along with everything else he was supposed to master in the seminary program for which he’d undertaken massive debt while working fulltime to feed his kids because of that pesky thing called responsibility but by golly when he got his first call self-care and rest would zoom to the tippy top of his to-do list which would of course be shorter and more manageable once he was a pastor.

He was, perhaps, overwrought. But you know the feeling. You think, “Two more weeks ‘til things die down,” or “After this project, I can rest.” But just when you reach the finish line, it moves. There’s always something.

There’s always guilt, too: “You should take better care of yourself, say ‘no’ more often, do less, rest more.” And you try, but… Did I mention there’s always something?

Date nights, bubble baths, retreats, boundaries, long walks, yoga—even if you practice them all, you won’t get to The Mythical Land of When Things Settle Down. It doesn’t exist. Even the rest Jesus offers comes with a yoke.

There’s always something. Mostly it’s just life. The wise person will take all the bubble baths they can. But they’ll also learn to accept life as it comes, lose the guilt, stay connected to the meaning of their work, find solace in the faithfulness it signifies, and take refreshment in the difference it makes.


Jesus, you don’t desire workaholic masochists, so I’ll try to practice better self-care. But since there’s always something, help me work meaningfully and faithfully, making a difference by your grace.

About the Author

Mary Luti is a long time seminary educator and pastor, author of Teresa of Avila’s Way and numerous articles, and founding member of The Daughters of Abraham, a national network of interfaith women’s book groups.