How do you recharge your spirit when you feel depleted?
I spoke this week at two events where pastors shared with one another their need to for their own spiritual nourishment while walking with others on their journeys. Pastors often take care of others before themselves, become overwhelmed by multiple demands, and face fatigue and stressors that drain their souls. Like all of us, even pastors need to intentionally cultivate an inner life with Christ.
I gave them this image:
Most of us have flown in an airplane
You know the drill:
Fasten your seat belts.
Find the exits.
In the case of a sudden change in air pressure in the cabin, oxygen masks will drop from the compartment above you.
Then they say something interesting and I bet you can say it word by word with me: “if you are with a young child or someone who may need help, put the mask on yourself first, then help the other person.”
Oxygen is vital. You can’t help someone else with this essential life giving force without first helping yourself.
The same goes for our spirituality. It is essential, vital for all of us to intentionally cultivate our inner lives, our walks with God so we can help others.
There are different ways to feed ourselves spiritually, but always boils down to three essential elements: Prayer, scripture, and community. I have also seen this called discipline of the heart, of the book, and of the community of faith.
I know I rush through my scripture reading, not taking the time to really chew on the Word of God and dig for what He is saying to me personally through His living Word.
“The word of scripture should never stop sounding in your ears and working in you all day long, just like the words of someone you love. And just as you do not analyze the words of someone you love, but accept them as they are said to you, accept the word of scripture and ponder it in your heart as Mary did. That is all. That is meditation. Do not ask how shall I pass this on? But what does it say to me? Then ponder this word long in your heart until it has gone right into you and takes possession of you.” Dietrich Bonhoeffer
I yak too much AT God and not sit silently listening and enjoying His presence.
“Be still and know I am God.” Psalm 46:10
“Come away by yourselves to a secluded place and rest a while.” Mark 6:31
Speaking with a spiritual director and sharing my walk within my small group are ways to connect with others. Often they notice treasures in my journey that my eyes failed to discover.
Power cords don’t work unless they are plugged in.
How do you recharge on your spiritual journey?
jean The airplane analogy is just exactly right. Thank you for reminding me. Quiet and music are my best ways to find the path again. Although I like the previous comment about: taking Him as He is rather than as I want Him to be at the moment. I sometimes feel I want HIm to be what I want HIm to be. Clella
Cassandra Frear says
The most powerful thing is for me to take Him in, as He is, rather than as I want Him to be at the moment. This is the rich, vital relationship my heart needs.
Jeanie, Yat At God, instead of listen to God is what I do a lot. Recharging for me, means slowing down and meditating on the truths that God is teaching me. Good post!
Jean Wise says
wow some great ideas here. I forgot how music so much pulls me into God’s spirit and is soothing to the soul. silence is an other practice that draws me near. Glad to read spiritual direction is growing and is being used. I find that so useful too. Prayer walking is a creative idea that appeals to many people. I do like it but find I still need quiet times too. thanks for all the comments
I didn’t even know what a spiritual director was until I got so spiritually and emotionally drained that God dropped one in my lap in the form of a friend. She shared with me the kind of work she did and offered that airplane illustration. I think about it often and try to share it with mothers of young children especially, because I see them walking the same path I did toward exhaustion. My friend also taught me the value of listening. I’m learning. Slowly. It takes practice.
Marti Pieper says
A friend asked me this same question the other day. My answers: prayerwalking and praise/worship. I find the combination of prayer and exercise energizing, and taking time to play the piano or listen to some praise music strengthens my spirit in ways only God can explain. Blessings, Jean!
Phather Phil Malmstrom says
You and I must be on the same “chat line” with God lately Jean…
A couple days ago I began taking “Stillness Sabbaticals” where I shut my office door, sit in the quiet and focus on time with God.
I plan to continue them. 🙂
Have a Blessed Day!
It’s funny that when our physical body gets depleted we run for fruits and vegetables, I know I do but when I am spiritually depleted I turn to my music, see I have several worship songs and praise songs and depending on what I am needing I play a certain song, for example if I am needing more trust then I play this song called ” I Will Trust you, I listen to that when I happen to be really down I listen to His Grace and Mercy and that really gets me up, because it takes me back to a time in my life where I was at my worse and I call it my God Experience and God got me through that I know He will get me through any new thing. Great post sis! have a great day