We are all familiar with the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge going on right now. Today I want to give you a different kind of bucket challenge. It may not be quite as ice cold as the ALS challenge, but can be equally shocking to us!
This post is a little off topic than my usual marriage posts, but still has direct implications for all parts of life, including your marriage/relationships.
Fall is upon us. While the fall brings us cooler temps and college football, it also tends to bring chaos and busyness. All of a sudden, schedules are very busy: soccer, football, back to school, and a plethora of opportunities at church and in the community.
I recently listened to Bill Hybel’s new book, Simplify: Ten Practices to Unclutter Your Soul. I always enjoy Hybels’ books, but this one definitely struck a chord with me from the title alone. I can use all the help I can get to “unclutter my soul!” Can’t we all?
Right from the start, Hybels addresses our need to go from exhausted to energized. In chapter one, he discusses the common challenges many face when we feel depleted, grumpy, and worn out. Instead of being energized and enthusiastic, we find ourselves exhausted. He uses the analogy of an empty bucket. We have nothing left to pour into others or provide us with energy and passion for Christ and others. Sometimes people use the image of gauges on a dashboard. Sometimes our gauges register empty when we need them revved up at full capacity.
However you measure exhaustion, and whatever image best resonates with you, I know many of us struggle with exhaustion and fatigue. When I feel this way, I am either not eating well, sleeping well, or I am engaged in ongoing sin that I am concealing and hiding from others (or all three of the above!).
Most often, my bucket is drained when I refuse to say no to others because I fear letting them down or disappointing them. The bottom line during these times is that I love me and my reputation more than I love God and love others. I can worship what others think of me and consequently I find my bucket is drained and I am flat our exhausted.
What is it for you? What causes you to be exhausted instead of energized?
How do we fill our bucket again? How can we move from exhausted to energized?
Hybels suggests five key practices which move him from exhausted to energized:
- Connecting with God
- Time with family
- Satisfying work
I wholeheartedly agree with his list. And I believe he has them listed in the correct order. There are specific activities that fill my bucket and energize me: a cup of coffee with my Bible and journal, hanging with my wife and kids, watching college football (Can I get an AMEN?), reading, and a nice walk, bike ride or work-out.
With fall upon us, what can you do to fill your bucket? What can you do to bring energy to your relationship with the Lord, with your family and with others? Maybe the best question… what do you need to stop doing in order to unclutter your soul? If you need some help discovering what tends to exhaust you or energize you, ask your spouse, community group and friends.
The important thing to know here is that the purpose of the move from exhausted to energized is not make us happy, but to free us up in order to do what matters most.
What is something you can do tomorrow to refill your bucket and help you move from exhaustion to energized? What would you do if you had the time, energy, and resources to do what really matters?
Photo Credit: Bucket – Dave Lawler, Flickr