With gas nearing $4 a gallon, its not gasoline that I want to discuss. But rather, refueling the soul. What fills you up? What gives you purpose and life and joy? For me, I found myself asking this question after a long week of late night obligations and lots of stress and anxiety. As I went to the gym this morning and started to work out, I did a self evaluation:
“How you feeling?” Crappy.
“Why?” Not sure.
“Have you been spending time in scripture for spiritual fuel?” Um…
“Have you been spending time with your wife for relational fuel?” Uh oh…
“Have you been spending time in nature? Nope
Time working out to exercise your body? Uh….
Time relaxing? Nah…
Within minutes, I had taken my dumpy mood and been able to self diagnose. I was feeling low…because I hadn’t pursued anything that gives me life. How do I expect to have abundant life when I’m not seeking the things that give my life purpose? Of course life feels drab and dull when I’m consumed with email and meetings and lots and lots of to-do’s. Or as Jesus says, “You have not because you ask not.” We have to seek the stuff of life if we want to be filled with something more than our current worries. For me at least, stress and anxiety and all the crud of life is the stuff that naturally takes my focus. It is essential that I cultivate habits of life that fill my cup.
One of the first things I ask people that want to serve in ministry is “do you have any overflow?” They typically look a bit puzzled and I remind them of Jesus words in John that “out of the overflow of a man’s heart, his mouth speaks.” Unless we have abundant life we’ll have nothing left to spill over onto the world. We often forget this in ministry and focus constantly on the output and not enough on the input. To this I am guilty. I confess….sometimes I worry more about speaking and doing than actually filling my heart with the stuff that gives me life.
So I’m spending the remainder of the day and all day tomorrow refueling. I’m going to a park with my kids today. Later I’ll watch a movie and tomorrow we’ll be at Alpental all day exploring God’s beauty with parabolic skis attached to my feet! It’s time to deep breathe and fuel up. What gives you life? What are you doing to be filled with the stuff that fuels you?