In 2005, I left a job I loved to follow a person I loved.  All the pieces didn’t quite add up.  Yet, as I reflect on almost fifteen years since that move, I see where much fruit has been harvested from being planted in Augusta, Georgia.  Family, faith, friendships are areas that have blossomed here and I am grateful.  Even still, I have fleeting thoughts often of my last days working at the Muscular Dystrophy Association in Atlanta.  Lessons learned, encouragements shared, and three little words that ended an email I still have.  Take good care.  One of the women in the regional office that I had admired for three years sent me a farewell email signed with the words….take good care.

These words go deep.  It’s not as standoffish as “sincerely” or as fluffy as “best wishes.”  Take good care goes deeper.  Take good care in all things – of yourself, of your profession, of your family, of all the things.  Not just care but good care – go the extra mile, do the harder thing, take the necessary time – take good care.  For the last few weeks, I’ve been studying the first chapters of Leviticus with my Wednesday morning Bible study friends.  Leviticus is a book you and I might not turn to unless we are signed up for the study before the chosen book is announced 😊.  But, this ancient book – these living words – have already taught me so much about my God and myself.  One of those things is the theme of taking good care. 

Leviticus is a book about our sovereign king desiring to dwell among his people and how his people are to respond to this by living out his character for the world to see.  How is this seemingly farfetched idea made possible?  The Lord takes good care to give us the means by which fellowship with him is possible.  The Lord is holy; we break God’s laws.  The two cannot coexist except that the perpetrators (you and me) must be cleansed and essentially be restored to purity.  Through the old testament sacrificial system and the living sacrifice of Christ Jesus, we enjoy this restoration and can fellowship with the one true God.   The system in Leviticus is detailed, precise, all-encompassing – it goes the extra mile, takes the additional time – this system, provided by God, seeks to take good care of us that we may glorify and enjoy him.

In response to this fellowship with the Lord, we live our lives differently.  We desire to show the world his goodness, kindness, forgiveness, and love instead of our deep-seated selfish ways.  How is this possible?  Only by taking good care.  Taking care to spend time in the truths of scripture, having it written on our hearts, choosing to live by it as our sole authority.  Take care to invest in the people around us, not so motivated by our calendar but by his kingdom.  Taking good care of ourselves to express gratitude for Christ forsaking his life that we might fully live ours.   

Oftentimes, I’ll use this same phrase when ending a note or an email (or these days a text) and I always smile at the fondness of the memory when I recall the source of these three little words.  Her fifteen-year-old words have lingered as a sweet-smelling aroma over the years.  I pray they linger over you today as you ask the question, “Am I taking good care in the areas of my life and of the people in my life that really matter?”  Take good care, friends, take really good care.