I am sure we are all familiar with the old saying ‘Garbage in-Garbage out’. It is a phrase quoted to us as young people while we are growing up regarding how we choose to spend our time, what we choose to enjoy and even the friends we choose to associate with. In a nutshell, it is a different way of saying Major Ann Penhale’s favorite saying ‘Make wise/good choices’. It is a good lesson based off of human experience but I think we get it wrong from time to time. For some reason, certain lessons or rules we harp on for our children are just as applicable for us when taken in a similar context. This is not saying that I am assuming bad choices are being made but if no choices are being made it doesn’t help either.
Recently, I was given a new way to look at this phrase that says “What’s in the well, comes up in the bucket”. I like this imagery much better as it becomes a little more applicable to our lives as adults and as leaders. For in this context it implies that for us to get something out of it…we have to work for it. Apply that to another wise phrase, ‘for evil to succeed it needs only for good men to do nothing’. Have you ever felt run down in your ministry? Ever felt burnt out? Disconnected from God? Loss of purpose? Don’t be anxious to affirm that because it happens to the best of us. The question I want to ask is: what are you doing to actively restore your soul with your Heavenly Father?
You cannot count on someone else to fill up your well just as you cannot hope to stay spiritually nourished by just the sermon on Sunday. Sometimes you may notice the well gets close to drying up and it is at that point that YOU must dig it deeper. Actively move toward the source. At other times it may mean fighting off someone who might want to pour trash in your well. This means actively defending against bitter feelings, anxiety, jealousy, gossip, indifference, discouragement and any other issue that may poison your well. If you are struggling to pull enough from your well for yourself…imagine what that means for those young people coming to you to help fill theirs.
Are you doing weekly devotions? Reading your Bible regularly? and not just for your ministry but for yourself? Have a mentor or someone you trust and respect to talk to? How’s your prayer life? You can dig all you want but unless you’re communicating with the source…it may be in the wrong direction. I encourage you to spend specific time in soul restoration today. I implore you to make connecting with our Heavenly Father a part of your daily schedule. Finally, try and find a seasoned believer who has served a lifetime asking the same questions you are now and be willing to listen. Take active steps to fill your well.