If there were awards for ‘Most Likely’ in my husband’s office, he’d be ‘Most Likely to Buy an Island and Make It Entirely of Coffee Beans’. Co-workers have tally sheets, scorecards, and betting tablets for how many times Mr. Ferrero slides out of his chair and whisks through the hall to refill his coffee mug. (He’s also Lord of The Beard Club, but that’s another story). There are jokes and notes pinned to his cubicle about the ‘Meaning of Coffee’ and ‘What Your Coffee Says about You’, and records for most cups of coffee in a day (17…). In fact, our doctor had his stethoscope to Alex’s heart the other day and asked quietly,
“Do you drink a lot of caffeine?”
Needless to say, the man enjoys a cup of Joe. But I think he might be onto something.
And a few weeks ago, we brought home a new little addition, Sophie. Sophie is now ten months old and full of puppy-style energy. We get up around 4 a.m. (possibly the need for the caffeine overdose) and take her for a jaunt around the neighborhood to hopefully expend some energy. She sniffs flowers, marks the spot, and hollas! at the neighbors. By the time we get home, she’s ready to be tucked into her “home”, eat some breakfast, and enjoy a looooong nap. But by the time we get back home, she’s got more energy than a 13 year old girl at a Bieber concert.
The truth is, lots of things ask for our energy every day. Get out of bed, do homework, go to the office, sit in meetings, give a speech, take care of kids, listen to the boss, hear the news, study, exercise, focus on your diet, walk the dogs, and so on. Each time something requires our attention and focus, it too requires our energy. And we’ve only been given so much energy for one day. You may think that energy comes in forms of little bursts between your cells and muscles, but I think they also come in the form of mental, spiritual, and emotional capacities. When those are all spent, you have nothing left to work with.
Yesterday morning consisted of our early morning walk, a shower, breakfast, packing a lunch, and driving to work. Then, work consisted of scanning and copying this, calling these people, and purchasing that—answering this question, helping this person, and staying positive. After work there was a drive back home, a swapping of the cars, a trip to the store, and cooking dinner. Then, there was Bible study. A quick little drive and I’d be there.
Unless a train decides to stop in the middle of town on the only route possible to the church, blocking 30 to 40 cars in my lane alone. “I’m just not going to go,” I told husband. I had decided that all this hustling and bustling was just not worth it. I’d miss the first 30 minutes, only be there for an hour, and then race back home to kiss everyone goodnight and get to bed before the alarm rings again at 4 a.m.
The traffic broke up, began to clear and I sped for the highway. By now, I had to get so far up the road to turn around. “No, I’ll just go,” I thought. “I’ve paid for the book and for the class, there’s only one week left and I’ve already missed a week this month.
To my surprise, many others were just as late and the first 30 minutes hadn’t started. I made it just in time to listen to Jennifer remind me that it’s never all about me and focusing on God and others keeps my eyes on the real prize. By 8 o’clock I was reenergized and ready for another 24 hours. I had been filled back up, I had been renewed.
“Create in me a pure heart, O God,
and renew a steadfast spirit within me.
Restore to me the joy of your salvation
and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me.” Psalm 51: 10, 12
It’s not enough to spend your time being busy and completing tasks. It’s not enough to be here and then there, to help them and be the best at this. It’s not even enough to be idle, waiting for the rush to be over. Take time to reenergize, however that may happen. Maybe it’s reading a novel; maybe it’s painting a picture. Maybe it’s going for a walk or jog; maybe it’s taking a nap in a hammock. Either way you have to give the Spirit a chance to renew your spirit, renewing your energy. Ask to be filled and you will be filled.