Friday, July 25, 2008

fill

At the leadership summit a couple years back, one of the speakers talked about how when you are in ministry you are always giving out. He used the visual of a water cooler where the spout was at the bottom and the top was open. He talked about how it was important to be constantly taking the time to refill so that your giving out spout never dropped your water level below a certain line. Your water level being an indicator of what was a full life, and an indicator of burn out.
The question then became, what fills me up?
Well...the answer for me was...Being alone. Reading. Writing/blogging/pictures. Being alone. Not doing anything. Just being quiet with my thoughts and enjoying my surroundings. I became intentional about only putting things in my house that I found lovely or inspiring. I did a terrible job of having alone time. Maybe one night a week. Reading this last year was not possible with my mono issues. I did a ton of writing/blogging that kind of thing. So why do I still feel so incredibly empty? Maybe I was giving to much and not filling fast enough. I don't know. But I feel like I need to go back to the drawing board and figure it out again.

I still know that the alone thing is a big deal. I like contemplation and silence and being peaceful. That is usually the first thing to go. Typically others don't understand it and demand your time be spent differently, they think you are lonely or boring or unproductive when they find out. And then in typical guilty people pleasing fashion I fill my time with other things and the emptying happens fast again.
I know that writing is something I need to do. Partly because it's one of the only places where I feel like I can clearly communicate what I'm thinking and feeling. And it helps me get some of the things that race around on the inside of me out of my head. Which can be very filling.
I recognize that I crave God's word but again, the things that fill are usually the first to go when busyness and pressures to be busy creep in. Why is that I wonder? Because it's easier to stop doing something for yourself than it is to stop doing things that impact others directly would be my guess.
One other thing that always fills me up is being near the water. A week near an ocean beach and I can go months feeling filled up. In Minneapolis I would go to one of the lakes after a hard day at work and just sit. That was always refreshing. There is a healing quality in water.
Anyways, this devotional was something that I read this week and have been thinking about. I thought it was worth sharing.



Getting Refueled
TGIF Today God Is First Volume 2, by Os Hillman
"Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed" (Mark 1:35-36).
How do you get refueled? When our cars run low on fuel, we simply drop by the local filling station to get more fuel. When our bodies are hungry, we feed them. How do we refuel our spiritual lives? We can learn from the example Jesus modeled in His life.
In the New Testament we see that Jesus had a very demanding schedule. He traveled from town to town, often walking many miles between the towns. He spent a lot of time with people. As a speaker and teacher I can tell you that it is very draining to minister for extended periods. Your body and your spirit becomes fatigued.
The day before the above scripture was recorded, Jesus had a full day of ministry healing the sick, delivering people from demons and walking to different cities (Mark 1:29-37). The following day it says Jesus got up before the sun rose and went to pray. The disciples were wondering where He was.
When Jesus was on earth, He was fully man. Everything He did was based upon receiving specific directions and power from His father to do them. He was not operating as God, but as a human being with the same limitations you and I have. So, Jesus knew one of the key ways to refuel His mind, body and spirit was by spending time in prayer to His Heavenly Father.
This is a critical discipline for every follower of Jesus if you expect to have power and victory in your Christian walk. We each need to find a solitary place to focus upon the Lord, His Word and His input for our lives.
If this is not a part of your daily experience, why not start tomorrow with a few minutes of focused time of reading and prayer. You will be encouraged with the new spiritual focus you will have by making this a priority.

3 comments:

Lori said...

I definitely need my 'alone time' to fill up. Whenever I feel stressed, frustrated, overwhelmed I need to be alone to gather strength, pray, and get perspective. For those who have a hard time understanding that, I wrote a post a couple of years ago. I think you could relate:

http://laurelsthoughts.blogspot.com/2006/02/lonelyor-alone.html

Elaine said...

I've discovered that what fills me up changes over time. It may be the same thing in a different flavor or it may be something completely different. Being who you are is a process, not an answer. I think it's supposed to be good for you, or something.

Jamie Willow said...

great comments ladies, thanks for leaving your thoughts here, they are helpful for sure...

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