My wife hates putting gas in the car. She will go as far as possible seeing how close she can get to empty before going to the gas station. What about you? We do the same thing with our souls. We run and run and run – never stopping to refuel, but inevitably we will hit empty. John Ortberg writes in the book Soul Keeping, “The soul was not made to run on empty. But the soul doesn’t come with a gauge.”
The American devotional writer, Lettie Cowman, wrote about a traveler visiting Africa with a group of carriers and guides. Hoping to make her journey a swift one, she was pleased with the progress of the many miles they covered that first day. On the second day, though, all the carriers she had hired remained seated and refused to move. She was greatly frustrated and asked the leader of her hired hands why they would not continue the journey. He told her that on the first day they had traveled too far too fast, and now they were waiting for their souls to catch up to their bodies. Cowman reflects, “This whirling rushing life which so many of us live does for us what the first march did for those poor jungle tribesmen. The difference: they knew what they needed to restore life’s balance; too often we do not.”
So, how do we refuel and replenish our soul? Let’s look at the life of Jesus. He was extremely busy. The demands for His time and attention were overwhelming. But what we see consistently from Him were certain practices, that I believe were ways for Him to refuel and to live and minister from a place of soul rest.
The Soul Replenishing Practices of Jesus:
- Had a circle of close friends
- Worshiped regularly
- Meditated on scripture
- Got out into creation
- Took long walks
- Welcomed children
- Attended parties
Jesus didn’t just withdraw, He also engaged. He socialized. He had friends and slow dinners. Sustaining our souls requires us to set some priorities around what feeds our souls. What connects you to God’s grace, energy and joy – What inspires you? Do more of those things. What drains you and depletes you? Do less of this things.