Saturday, June 17, 2006

Spiritual Energy

There's an interesting phenomenum that most people do not understand. You may have experienced it, and did not know what was happening to you. I've worked in a variety of careers and so have personal knowledge of what I'm writing about.

When I was a young man, I worked in my dad's lumber yard for several years. After my mom died, dad sold the family business and I continued working for the new owners. Although I worked hard physically every day, I was still well able to study at Bible College each evening. I actually felt energized spiritually after working all day physically. Then after I was married and our first baby was on the way I switched careers and began working with Canfor. I always got a kick out of the mill workers who thought they were the only ones who really did any work. They felt that we office guys just drank coffee and flirted with the female employees. But the truth was that after a day of using my brain and talking business, I was more tired than when I worked physically all day. I learned that mental/ emotional work can be more draining than physical exertion.

When I began pastoring full time, I actually wondered what clerics did all day. Soon my time was full and I was experiencing the drain of spiritual work. The energy drain far surpassed what I had experienced in my 2 previous careers. It's like when Jesus was touched by a woman in the crowd around him. "Who touched me?" he asked. How did he even know he'd been touched? According to Jesus, he said, "I felt power go out from me." There is a physical drain that comes as we do spiritual work.

Yesterday, after I had listened to a very sad 5th step confession, And then counselled a woman in our church whose son has just murdered a friend, I was exhausted. I know that our sessions were much more difficult for the other 2 ladies, but I was done. It wasn't hard for me to go to my daughter's and put in a full evening of physical work, but spiritually I was drained. I think that a healthy balance between physical and spiritual exertion, for any of us is a healthy secret.

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