Seven Ways To Renew Your Spiritual Energy
Renewing Spiritual Energy Through Seven Pathways
In the last several posts we have been considering how to recover when drained as a result of preaching and ministry. In this post we start a continuation of that series, talking about seven ways to renew your spiritual energy for ministry and life.
This morning I had the privilege of visiting a Japanese garden with my wife and 3 of my grandchildren. A sign at the entrance informed us that this should be a leisurely trip into this beautiful place. The paths will meander, we were told, and benches are placed for sitting often and contemplating deeply. The whole point is that our spirits should be renewed as a result of visit to this place in nature.
We’ve been talking about experiencing renewal, a reviving of energy after preaching and ministry. Let’s begin the examination of seven, well-known pathways of spiritual renewal. If you want a more in-depth study of these pathways, you can go to John Ortberg’s book, God Is Closer Than You Think.
A special note: I am going to describe all seven pathways in this series of a few posts. You will find, however, that you are more attracted to some than to others. That’s good. Focus on the ones that work best for you, but do try them all over a period of time.
Renewing Spiritual Energy Through The Relational Pathway
Every time I read about this pathway, I think of my youngest child, a daughter. She is an extravert in the extreme. One summer, when she was home from college, she got a job working in a home for seniors. Her job was to help in whatever way needed. My wife and I thought that this would be perfect for her, as she would be interacting with many people. And initially, it was. However, one day I receive a call from her during working hours. She was crying, and said, “Come and pick me up, please. I’m quitting this job!” I quickly went over to the home, and found her sitting outside the office waiting for me. “What happened?” I asked. To make a long story short, she was put in a room by herself painting, and the experience of being alone was just too much for her.
Such people, maybe you are one of them, need people around them to have energy flowing in. One pastor I know would occasionally go to the food court of a local mall, and strike up conversations. The adventure of meeting new people and learning their stories energized him. This is one of the seven ways to renew your spiritual energy for ministry and life. If you find yourself especially drawn to people, this one might be for you.
Creation Renews Us
Some of us come alive out in nature. A walk in the woods fills our senses, and the result is a new energy. I think of Psalm 8 in this regard. I like to picture David on a hillside outside of Bethlehem, looking at the panoply of stars above him on a cloudless night. He cries out, “O Lord, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth!” And then as he continues to reflect, he says, “When I consider your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place, what is mankind that you are mindful of them, human beings that you care for them?” He regained perspective on God’s love for him simply by being out in nature.
You likely have experienced the sense of awe in considering creation. A few days ago the word came out that the James Web telescope is in place a million miles from earth, and sending back pictures of galaxies that are 13.1 billion light years away! Who wouldn’t feel a sense of energy in standing before a star-spangled skit and reciting, “In the beginning, God….”
Yes, this is another one of the seven ways to renew your spiritual energy for ministry and life.
Stay tuned, we’ll continue this subject in the next post.