charge!

the recharging unit in place
recharging in my old study

One of my weekly tasks is to re-charge. Literally. I have an implant inside me that sends electrical signals into my brain which is stopping a chronic migraine that I had for ten years before the wonderful gadget (it’s called an Occipital Nerve Stimulator) was fitted.

The first one I had was powered by a battery that had a finite life. Once it had died they had to replace it (which involved another operation). This time around they have fitted one with a rechargeable battery. But because of the nature of the electronics in the gadget if the battery completely discharges it might not be able to be restarted. A second such occurrence means that it’s unlikely that it can be restarted. A third such occurrence would almost certainly mean the end of the gadget’s life and surgery to replace it.

So I am very careful to make sure that I recharge at least once a week. That means that I don’t allow the battery to go down any lower than 25% charged and usually it is 50%, meaning that there is no risk of the battery discharging completely.

But with the busyness of the past week – moving house and recovering from surgery and so on – I had forgotten to recharge this week and when, this morning, I remembered and checked to see how I was doing I was down to below 25%. Eek!

Cue recharging (currently (pun intended) at 75% and counting).

We all know that our bodies and minds need rest and re-creation in order to function well. Days off are important and while we may feel virtuous by working through them in fact we are short-changing the people for whom we are working and the One for whom our work is an act of worship, as well as ourselves.

And spiritual recharging is just as important. Someone I know used daily Bible reading notes Every Day With Jesus but commented that they were often at best Every Other Day With Jesus. I know that I am able to follow Jesus more closely when I am in regular contact with him – in prayer, in reading my Bible, in seeking to listen to him and look for him, in worship and work. We all recharge spiritually in slightly different ways – some are recharged by nature, some by singing, some in prayer, some in reading the Bible, some in silence, some in encounters with others, most of us by a combination of lots of these things. But I know that I feel spiritually empty when I neglect them. In what ways do you find it easiest to recharge? Focus on them. Practise them and practice others.

Don’t leave your spiritual recharge to a once-a-week visit to church (or once a year if you are a regular attender at the Carol Service), it is not sufficient (and then we wonder why we don’t feel close to Jesus or are spiritually arid). And if we frequently allow our spiritual batteries to drain completely don’t be surprised if it’s more difficult to recharge again.

Be blessed, be a blessing

beesyness

Sorry about the lack of bloggage yesterday (a lackage?). The last few days have been the sort of days where I have been able to do all I have set out to do, but each activity has flowed into the next without much breathing space in between. I find I can sustain that level for a short time but I soon need space to breathe and reflect at a more gentle pace.

I have been doing lots of different things, meeting lots of different people – planned and unplanned, writing, reading, studying, making phone calls, taking phone calls, writing and sending emails, receiving emails, and much more besides. I have (to coin a phrase) been busy as a bee.

bee 2That’s an interesting phrase. Because bees seem to spend a lot of their time resting on flowers sucking up nectar. The cross-pollination that takes place because of the pollen that sticks to their furry little bodies is not their beesyness. Their real beesyness is to collect nectar to feed the bee colony.

It is very easy to justify your existence (especially as a Minister) by how busy you are. I know of some Ministers who are always on duty, always active on church business, always available. Their identity is their role: their role is their identity. Take away church and they haven’t got much else.

But is that a sensible or even a Biblical approach? We don’t have to read very far into the Bible to read about God taking a day off! Recreation is re-creation and it’s essential if we are to function properly as human beings.

I have a rechargeable battery inside me. It supplies power to an occipital nerve stimulator that is successfully moderating chronic migraine and cluster headaches, but that’s another story. I have to recharge it regularly as the electronics are rather sensitive. If I allow the battery to discharge completely there can be problems. I have been told that it is possible that the ONS can be restarted if I let the battery run out once. If it happens twice it is unlikely to be restarted. A third time would almost certainly be fatal to the system and it would need to be replaced with all of the cost and surgery involved. I am acutely aware of the need to recharge.

We all need to be re-charged, re-created and re-freshed: emotionally, spiritually, physically. There is no special prize in heaven for getting there early because you worked yourself into an early grave!

So what re-charges , re-creates and re-freshes you? Is it a regular part of your routine? If not I hope you also have a superhero cape to go with your superman / superwoman powers!

Be blessed, be a blessing.

a pome for the weekend

diaryHere is a pome what I have writ… it will also appear in the ‘pomes’ section of this blog in due course. (Bearing in mind that some people have to work at weekends, this pome is transferrable to other days off).

Weekends are Designed for strengthening us when we feel weakened:

Rest, recreation, relaxation and re-creation are needed at the end

of a busy week – whether it’s on our own or with family or friends.

Time spent away from work, toil, stress and strain help us mend

our busy lives and enable our sense of well-being to be deepened.

The Designer designed us that way so that we bookend

business and busyness with refreshment and intentionally send

the message that days off are essential, not just a trend.

Be blessed, be a blessing

A friend once described the austere nature of Sundays in his household. It was a day of rest and frivolous activity was forbidden: “We would even take the swing out of the budgie’s cage in case he enjoyed himself!”

Because you’re worth it

No, I haven’t got a corporate sponsor. Today I’m taking time off because I worked some of my last day off and will be working some of my next day off too. A principle that has been laid down from early days is that it is good to rest as well as to work.

Regardless of what you think of Genesis 1, you can’t ignore that our Creator took a day off. It’s a need that he’s hardwired into humans – we need to take time out. Scientists and engineers have been unable to create perpetual motion and that doesn’t exist in us either. 

It’s not slacking or lazy. It’s essential that we enjoy rest and recreation so that we are refreshed and re-created. It’s worth taking for our well-being – not self-indulgent but sensible. And as a Minister I need to take my time off for the benefit of those I serve so I am re-created to serve – they’re worth it.

And we could do a lot worse than be inspired by Nicholas Allan’s lovely children’s book ‘Jesus’ Day Off’. http://www.nicholasallan.co.uk/books_jesus_day_off.htm

image

Be blessed, be a blessing.