December’s holiday feasting has left me a little…out of balance.
I need a return to equilibrium.
Just like our bodies thrive in a state of balance between calories in and calories out, our souls require spiritual input to energize output.
Spiritual feasting at conferences, retreats, or in personal periods of prayer and reflection is as satisfying as a delicious holiday dinner. However, too much intake without an outlet can leave us feeling over-saturated, like stagnant ponds.
Conversely, in response to the many needs around us good-hearted people give, help, and serve to the point of exhaustion. Too much spiritual output without replenishment leaves us lifeless and ineffective, like dried up river beds.
I don’t want to be a stinky pond or a crusty river bed. Do you? I didn’t think so.
Here are three steps to maintaining spiritual equilibrium:
1. Locate the Source. As a Christian I believe that there is only one spring from which unlimited and life-giving energy flows. Jesus put it this way, “Whoever believes in me…streams of living water will flow from within him.” John, who documented Jesus’ statement, added this clarification: “By this he meant the Spirit, whom those who believe in him were later to receive.” John 7:38-39
2. Evaluate the balance of your spiritual “input” and “output.” Compare the time you spend with Jesus with the time you serve in his name. Obviously, this is just a rough comparison – don’t get carried away! But, you might be surprised at what your analysis reveals.
3. Purposefully balance the scales.
If you feel dry and empty, intentionally make time to sit with Jesus in prayer, Bible study or other disciplines. Start with a plan you’ll be able to follow, and then watch Jesus energize you!
If, on the other hand, you notice a little algae growing in your soul, I suggest stirring things up with service. For best results, do something that is completely outside of your experience and aptitude.
For example, I once (inexplicably) responded to a Saturday morning request for volunteers to prepare a building for renovation into a youth center. (Code for demolition with jack-hammers and crow-bars.) I quickly realized that this service opportunity was way outside of my aptitudes and experience!
At first, I pulled weeds in a courtyard garden while the other three (male) volunteers took turns breaking up a concrete floor with a jack-hammer. Warming up to the situation, I then took a crow-bar to a wall-mounted cabinet and tore it apart. Yep. The guys even gave me a turn with the jack-hammer. That stirred up my spiritual pond quite effectively!
We find spiritual equilibrium as we refresh ourselves in the stream of living water that Jesus offers and then serve in His name. One without the other is as lifeless as a stagnant pond or a dry river bed.
Do find it challenging to maintain your spiritual equilibrium? How have you experienced the power and refreshment of living water?
“I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. To him who is thirsty I will give to drink without cost from the spring of the water of life.” Jesus, in Revelation 21:6