What does it feel like when you are living a full life? You might say:
“I’m at my best”
“I feel connected to Christ”
“I am more generous with my time, talents, and money”
“I’m more caring and compassionate”
“I make better choices”
“I feel more creative”
“I am more authentic”
“I am more loving and lovable”
“I am more relational”
When we are living a full life, we feel alive and energized. And when our life is spinning out of control, we feel overwhelmed and burned out. Unfortunately, most people feel overwhelmed and burned out most of the time. This creates all kinds of physical, emotional, and spiritual problems that come out in ugly ways. If this resonates with you, I want to encourage you because there is hope, you can change. Once you regain control of your life, you will reap incredible rewards. Rewards like being more satisfied, more content, more peace, and feeling more productive. Your relationship with God will grow deeper and your faith will grow stronger.
In my experience there are five keys vital to keeping your soul replenished. These practices will help you to live the full life Jesus talks about in John 10:10 “10 The thief’s purpose is to steal and kill and destroy. My purpose is to give them a rich and satisfying life.” John 10:10 NLT
Here are five keys to replenishment.
1. Connecting with God. When we feel connected to God, the rest of our life feels manageable. When I feel God’s love and am open to the Holy Spirit’s gentle promptings, my quality of life goes up. I connect with God by reading the bible, pausing long enough to enjoy the moment, praying, and worshipping weekly with others at church.
2. Life-giving relationships. Jesus had three close male friends, John, Peter, and James. He was also close friends with Mary, Martha, and Lazarus. These were his “refrigerator friends.” Life giving relationships were important to Jesus and therefore, they should be important to us. Don’t clutter your schedule to the point you don’t have time to connect in a meaningful way with others.
3. Satisfying work. Jesus enjoyed what he did. John 4:34 says: “My food,” said Jesus, “Is to do the will of him who sent me and to finish his work.” If you hate your job, it might be time to get a new one. I’m not suggesting you walk in the office tomorrow and quit, I’m just saying that maybe you need to start working on what you want to do for the rest of your life right now.
4. Recreation. I enjoy riding my motorcycle, snowmobile, fishing, and tinkering around the house. I also enjoy playing hockey and polishing rocks. Doing things that I enjoy helps to replenish me. When I work too much I lose interest in all the hobbies that fill my bucket.
5. Exercise. Statistics reveal that exercise adds vitality and energy to your life. Exercise and proper rest give about a 20 percent energy increase in an average day. I know that when I work out I feel better both physically and mentally.
Can you think of any other replenishers that should be on your list? If so, write them down. God doesn’t want you to feel depleted most of the time. According to John 10:10 Jesus came to give you a full life. If you want to receive it, you may need to reduce the things that deplete you and increase the activities that replenish you. You were made for more than running around feeling stressed out all the time. You are God’s creation, made in His image for His glory.
Take a minute to write down four or five things that deplete you. What can you do about them? Now write down the activities that replenish your life. What replenishing people do you need in your life? What activities fill you up? What are the hobbies that recharge you? Write them down.
After you complete your list, I challenge you to pick one thing you can do tomorrow that will replenish you. Pick one thing this week and one thing this month. For some of you this is hard to think about, but you need to do it. If you don’t write it down and start doing something about it, you are going to be in the same place or worse a month from now. This isn’t pop psychology, it’s biblical. God wants you to be healthy and whole. Do you believe that? This isn’t a matter or reorganizing your life to do more, it’s a matter or revolutionizing your life with Christ at the center.