Monday, January 30, 2012

Time for a Fill-Up?

"We ourselves must be full of life if we are going to make life fuller for others."
-David Sawyer

When was the last time you stopped for a fill-up? I'm not talking about your car, I'm talking about your soul. When did you last put down all of your obligations and responsibilities for just a little while and do something you love, just because you really needed to? 

It's important, you know, that balance of work and play. Productivity and pure pleasure. For me, I begin to lose perspective if I go too long without doing something creative just for the enjoyment of creating something new and pretty. It might not be something that anyone else would appreciate, but for me it is a tangible thing that grounds me a little, refreshes me, and lets me go back into the jungle of everyday life a little bit better equipped to do what needs to be done. 

It's not easy, and many times I get to that point only when I've pushed past my limit and just don't care anymore. That's not a good way to do it, trust me. It's so much better when I allow myself some down time without feeling guilty. 

My example for that is the ultimate authority on humans and our behavior. It is the creator of life and the one who, while in human form, took many documented breaks from the work he was doing. Some of us feel like what we do is just too important to let up at all, but Jesus had the most important job ever, and because his job was so earth-shaking, life-changing and important he took time for breaks so he could continue to do it well. 

The world looks at people who work 50, 60 or more hours a week and hails them as dedicated, loyal, and what makes companies successful. We must remember that Jesus does not think like the world. He understood the need to be away, to rest, to engage in something restorative on a regular basis. Can we do any less?

Think about your situation. Are you running on empty? Do you just go through the motions, productive on the outside but empty on the inside? You don't have to stay that way. Make it a matter of prayer. Ask God to help you have  a better understanding of balance and filling yourself up, and ask him to help yo figure out how to do that. 

There is nothing wrong with working hard or with working over-time for special occasions. We all have to bite the bullet sometimes, dig deep and just keep going. For a time. There is a time to put things down, walk away for a while and recharge. 

What we give to others comes from the well of our own spirits. If we let that well run dry we have nothing for others. There is a time to be selfish for just a little while. Do it before the well runs dry. 

This weekend I didn't write or work. I sewed and organized things, and I loved every minute of it. Not only do I enjoy the activities, but when I'm done, I have something to show for it that makes me feel even better. 

What will you do to recharge and refill? Do you have a secret for that? Share it with us. 

I am praying for you. 


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