Saturday, May 21, 2016

Recharge Your Batteries!

Phone supposedly charging on my night stand.
Every night before falling asleep, I plug in my smart phone to let it charge. It usually takes about an hour and a half to recharge, depending on how low the battery is. This morning when I awoke, I noticed that for some reason, even though I had plugged my phone in when I went to bed, it hadn’t charged. The battery was under 20% and going on low power mode. I sorta panicked. When would I have time to charge it? I needed its services and it was running low!

Those of you who frequent airports have probably noticed the proliferation of poles in waiting areas. These are a recent phenomenon. They are for recharging the batteries of all the electronic equipment we carry with us wherever we go. There are often lines of people waiting to recharge their indispensable gear. Most of the rest of the people in the waiting areas are staring at their hands or their laps, using what seems to be so necessary.

Few of us can function without these apparatuses that need a constant recharge. We carefully monitor their use and the percentage of charge left. We are quick to recharge so that we don’t lose all the valuable data we have so carefully saved.

When it comes to our own lives, are we as careful about a getting a recharge? Do we carefully monitor how low our batteries are getting? Do we put in the necessary time to recharge? Do we find places to recharge along the way like in airports, cars or the office?

A favorite story that I have recounted endless times, takes place in Paraguay during a church conference. An indigenous man who lived in a very remote village about four hours away from the capital AsunciĆ³n, took a bus ride to attend the conference. After arriving in AsunciĆ³n, he was observed sitting in a corner by himself. After about an hour, some concerned friends approached him and asked him if there was anything wrong? “No,” he replied, “the bus ride from the Chaco was so fast and furious, that I am waiting for my soul to catch up with the rest of me.”

How often we live our lives “fast and furious” on a bus careening out of control. How seldom we sit for an hour to let our souls catch up with the rest of us; to recharge our batteries. Most of us are running on empty and wonder why we are frazzled, stressed, and burned out.

The Israelites experienced a “fast and furious” time when they were fleeing Pharaoh’s army after their escape from the bondage of Egypt (recounted in Exodus 14). They were in “great fear” and cried out for their deliverance. Moses tells them: “stand still,” and later on “keep still.” One could easily say that they were frazzled, stressed and burned out. Yet to be delivered from their situation, they needed to be still; to let their souls catch up with the rest of them.

Instead of being pursued by Pharaoh’s army, we are pursued by the demons of self-image, self-worth and productivity. We think that getting on a faster bus that takes advantage of every second of our day, will help us get what we think we need. We think that taking time for silence, Bible study or prayer will keep us from getting done all that we think is so important. We have become human doings rather than human beings. Our batteries are in low-power mode and we have no time to recharge them.

Be still. Stand still. Recharge your batteries. Let your soul catch up with the rest of you. 

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