Sometimes to succeed, you have to consider what is counterintuitive.
Counterintuitive – contrary to common sense expectation (but often nevertheless true).
When something is counterintuitive, it goes against our preconceived expectations and assumptions.
Think about your favorite pop star. What are your assumptions about the pathway to their pop star status? If you are anything like me, you are picturing a somewhat musically talented teenager that started a garage band that gradually worked their way into a large enough fan base to be taken seriously.
But did you know that many rock stars, such as Steve Perry and Axl Rose, have spent years being classically trained in singing?
It’s counterintuitive. If your goal is to be a pop star, then why would you spend years studying opera? Because developing a successful and sustainable career as a pop star involves more than meets the eye.
Singer John Ondrasik (Five for Fighting) explains, “Training in how to sing classically has been crucial to my career because I sing so much in the falsetto, and you have to know what you’re doing or you’re not going to be singing for very long.”
Falsetto (singing high notes above one’s normal range) is known to be hard on the vocal cords and forcing the vocal cords often causes singers to end up losing their voice, or even worse, developing vocal nodules.
For the pop star that wants a successful and sustainable career, the investment of time and energy in classical training helps them to learn and practice the skills and disciplines to maintain healthy vocal cords that can withstand the challenges of singing in the falsetto.
The connection between opera training and pop star success is counterintuitive. To many, classical training would seem to be counterproductive. But it’s necessary to sustain a successful music career.
Successful and sustainable Christian service also sometimes requires doing what seems counterintuitive.
Why? Because just like the pop star:
What opera training is to the pop star,
self-care is to the Christian servant.
On the one hand, the skills and disciplines of self-care are needed to:
On the other hand, the skills and disciplines of self-care seem:
As a Christian, the Spirit of Christ lives in you to equip and enable you for every good work. But the vessel that the Holy Spirit works through is no different than that of every other human being. Just as the pop star needs to attend to the health of his vocal cords to share his music with the world, the Christian needs to attend to the health of the vessel through which the love of Christ is shared with others.
Or didn’t you realize that your body is a sacred place, the place of the Holy Spirit? Don’t you see that you can’t live however you please, squandering what God paid such a high price for? The physical part of you is not some piece of property belonging to the spiritual part of you. God owns the whole works.
So let people see God in and through your body.
(1 Cor. 6:19-20 MSG)
Sometimes to succeed, you have to consider what is counterintuitive. Though the idea of self-care may go against the preconceived expectations and assumptions that we have about the Christian life, the following is nevertheless true:
Good Health for Good Works Challenge:
Consider this questions:
What is your relationship to self-care? Is it confusing, complicated, and counterintuitive to everything you have been taught? Maybe it’s time to renew your mind about the role of self-care in the life of a Christian committed to sharing God’s love with the world through service. The things that we view as counterintuitive are not necessarily always unwise or untrue.
What is one act of self-care that would be most impactful on your ability to glorify God through a successful and sustainable lifestyle of service? How could you take one step forward in that area of self-care today?
About the author:
Ginger Hill is a Christian wellness speaker, coach and consultant and the founder of Good Health for Good Works where she helps the earnest, but often exhausted, workers in Christian organizations to take steps toward healthier living so they can fulfill their organization's mission with energy, excellence and endurance.
Psalm 92:12,14 (NLT)
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