As I type this bloggage today I am recharging.
I have a rechargeable neurostimulator implanted into my body in order to combat a chronic migraine and once a week (roughly) I have to recharge myself in order that it does not run down completely. The nature of the equipment means that if it runs down completely it has to be re-booted (no, I don’t press ctrl+alt+del) and there is no guarantee that it can be. If that happens twice it is highly unlikely that it can be re-booted. Three times and it’s dead.
That puts a certain amount of pressure on me to ensure that I don’t allow the battery to run down. I like to keep it at a minimum of 50% charge in order to give myself a large margin for error. When I mention to people that I have to recharge the unit almost invariably I get comedic responses about plugging myself into the mains, and questions about the location of the socket (often the navel is suggested). But, as you can see from the photo, the recharging process is by induction charging – the same sort of process as an electric toothbrush. I can get on with other things and even walk around as the recharging unit itself gets recharged so I am not trailing cables around behind me. I can’t move too fast or be too energetic as the recharging pad slides off, but it could be a lot more restrictive. It’s not the sort of thing I am likely to be seen doing in public – it might look like I have something explosive strapped to me, or that I am wearing a gun holster – but I am happy wearing it around the house.
When was the last time you recharged? We have just had Pentecost Sunday when we remembered how God sent his Spirit on the first Christians in a new way, and how the same Spirit of God fills us. But it is not a ‘once off’ event, it is something we need to do regularly. We need to come back to God and ask his Spirit to refill us, to re-empower us for service, to keep us close to God. I can’t remember who said it, but I can remember being told that someone once said that they need to be re-filled with the Spirit of God on a regular basis because they leak. I think I know what they meant, but actually I find the analogy of recharging more helpful (well I would, wouldn’t I, given what I am doing right now).
But even ‘recharging’ is an inadequate metaphor. Because God’s Spirit is not something we plug in to receive, he is God in us, God with us. God’s Spirit is God, not an object or a power source. We need to renew and refresh our relationship with God regularly because, just like the people of Israel in the Old Testament, we frequently forget his presence with us, we break our side of the covenant relationship, we fall short of God’s standards.
In his grace God’s Spirit is constantly with us, and will always offer forgiveness, reconciliation, fresh starts and strengthens our resolve to do better. Those cannot be offered by anything or anyone else.
Be blessed, be a blessing
Two boys were being chased by the police after shoplifting from a local store. To hide the evidence they swallowed what they had stolen – some fireworks and some rechargeable batteries.
Police caught them. They charged one and let the other one off.