When I was in college, I once trudged through several blocks of ankle deep northern Utah snow to deliver a tub of sour cream to a potluck dinner that I wouldn’t be attending.
I was too sick to eat and didn’t want to breathe on anyone.
Even though I had no intention of staying for the event, I drug my achy, sniffly self out of my warm dorm room bed and out onto the cold, wet road because I didn’t want the host to be without sour cream.
I realize now that I could have called her and explained the situation.
She would have figured it out.
Or maybe I could have asked a roommate or my boyfriend to do the delivery.
Wouldn’t have been hard to meet the host’s needs and mine at the same time.
Also might not have been the end of the world if I’d met my needs first and apologetically asked her to get creative in finding a new solution for sour cream.
It’s possible that people could have eaten their potatoes without it.
But back then, I didn’t even give myself that option.
Well… because I’d taken on the idea that everyone else’s needs were more important than mine.
I believed that to serve is to love – even if the service is inconvenient.
A lot of times that line of thinking served me well.
Definitely don’t want to abandon it completely.
But what no one ever mentioned is that it’s okay for service to have its limits.
It’s allowed for me to take my turn to BE served.
Like maybe I stay in bed and care for my symptoms so that I’ll get the rest I need to be back to functional sooner.
Maybe I let someone else figure out the sour cream.
Maybe the world would keep on spinning and maybe my world would spin even more efficiently if I actually took care of myself as I go.
So the next time you find yourself standing ankle deep in wet-packed snow with sour cream in your hand and a tissue to your face, just… stop.
Ask yourself if what you’re doing could be done by someone else.
Consider that you might not have to figure out who.
Then go back to bed.
You. Matter. Too