Back in the day, when you played video games, you were always on the lookout for a mushroom or other object that increased your power, often multiple times, to help you get through the game. If you didn’t find them, or got hit too many times, it was Game Over. What things do you use to get energized each day? A good night sleep, a good meal, a mug of coffee, a run, a nap, some reading, or just alone time? Each of us likely has a preferred routine to help us get going in the morning, and stay going throughout the day. Lately, for a variety of reasons, I have not been sleeping well, feeling more exhausted earlier in the day than I should, etc and it affects all areas of my life. I need to figure out where I am off, and do something different to help get back to full power. What can you do different to help you optimize your health, attitude, faith and efficiency through the day?
I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. John 15:5
When you rely only on your own strength, it is usually motivated by selfish reasons, to make you look good and seek the admiration of those around you. I take a close look at my life and ask, what are the things that drive me every day? One of the biggest is commitments. I have committed to do my job, and I want to do it well and earn my paycheck. I want to keep my word and follow through on my commitments to others. I want to provide a good home for my family. After I try to follow through on doing all these things, what is left? Sometimes, we spend more time and energy on things that don’t matter so much in the long run, and short ourselves and others short on the things that truly do matter. The key is to seeing this in our lives and making changes to do something about it.
Even when I am old and gray, do not forsake me, my God, till I declare your power to the next generation, your mighty acts to all who are to come. Psalm 71:18
When things get rough, it may be helpful to admit that we can’t always do it on our own, and seek help from an outside source. To some, asking for help (from others, from God) may feel like they have given up, or are less of a man because they couldn’t do everything they set out to do. It is often a reality check, to help re-prioritize one’s life, and to ask if everything I have been doing has bee worth it, or if I should have spent time, energy, money, on other things. Also, when we try to make everything ‘work out’ on our own, we tend to become more self-centered than we already are, pride becomes more central, and before we become burnt out on life, we refuse help from most who care about us, even God. Our love for God is most easily reflected in how we love others, either we are usually doing both well, or not so well.
But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. 2 Corinthians 12:9
So, if you are trusting in your own strength to get everything done, it is a sure recipe for crash and burn, at some point. When you are connected to God, it energizes your relationships with others as well. Take a few minutes to assess where you are on that spectrum and where God is asking you to trust Him more with your life. Hand over a few things to Him, and eventually you may trust Him with everything in your life. You will have more power that comes from a source much greater than your own!
Yours in Christ,