At times life can be dry and barren, a bit like a desert. At times I have been running so hard it is as if I had become dehydrated and needed some kind of fluid to refresh me, but deeper than that which comes out of a tap. How about yourself? When was last time you felt pretty dry, like a drooping plant need that restoring back to who you really are?
Interestingly, Jesus saw a lady who was filling up her buckets from a well so that she could get physically refreshed. Jesus connected with her and understood what was going on and gave her the opportunity to meet with Him, the One who could refresh her from the core of her being. Personally, that has been the case for me, that my faith walk with Jesus is really like a spring of living water, even at times beneath the dehydrated or at times demolished core of my being. Having that relationship is something I have to nurture, just like with any other relationship. When I ignore it, that connection grows dry. Not surprising! It is just the same as with ignoring contact with anybody else.
At other times, my soul feels really tired, because I am physically tired or uptight. What I need then is either to get some exercise or just a good sleep, which so often pushes the reset button for my functioning. It is surprising how helpful just getting to bed and having that sleep can be, if my feelings and thoughts are heading down a spiral, going nowhere fast.
We know what drains us socially, when people just don’t connect with us, misunderstand us or try and fix us when they really don’t get the picture. You know what it is like when you have someone who can actually really understand you in the context of a good connection. That energises you and puts petrol in your tank. I know it takes a while to build up that sort of relationship, which is safe and solid enough to relate on.
Having opportunities to learn and grow mentally as well as to having a rest and a break from the stresses of life are really important for me. I do this on a daily basis where at the beginning of the day and at the end of the day I have a time to stop. At the beginning of the day, in order to sort out what lies ahead so that I can slave away as it were, in a sustainable fashion, lasting the distance. At the end of the day, I look back on the day, getting ready to shut my brain and body down. Once a week I try and take a day off where I am not doing the usual run of the mill things. There have been times when I have gone for an extended period of time, like even up to a year without having had a holiday or a break. That is just not sustainable.
So what refreshes my soul, is a wholistic approach to addressing those things which I am not only struggling with but also trying to grow those things in my life which are working, whether that is spiritual, social, physical or psychological. At the core of refreshment comes a sense of connection and personal safety, direction and a clarity of whom I am, as well as a sense of things happening in a positive direction. All of these can particularly flourish when I live a life based on love. Living in faith and having a sense of hope for the future. The C.U.R.E. for Life series gives you a window into my operating system, into what refreshes me. I encourage you to have a look at it and take out of that what is meaningful for you.
Dr John Warlow