I was watching a show the other night and there was a scene that really had me thinking about my spiritual growth.
A sister is driving her brother to an AA meeting because she has just found him in his apartment with liquor bottles everywhere. He had been sober for a lengthy period and she is shocked and sad to see that he has relapsed.
While driving there, her water breaks even though she is only 28 weeks pregnant, which means she needs to get to the hospital right away. Humiliated and helpless, her brother has to admit that he can’t get behind the wheel of the car to get her there quickly, because he has been drinking all day.
I can look back on my past and see many situations where I am this character in the passenger seat — there’s a person in need right in front of me but I have neglected my soul and have nothing to give.
When I am disconnected from God I am not the best version of myself, and others aren’t able to receive the good things I have the potential to give away — a kind word, a lending hand, a compassionate listening ear. When I am not pursuing my relationship with God my heart hardens, I become blind to others and their needs because I am too focused on my own.
To be a light in this world I need to stay close to Him who gives me light.
So today I reflect — Am I the best version of myself right now? Do I feel connected to my life source or have I drifted away?
Where are the empty places in my heart and what can I do to fill them so that I am ready to give to others?
As author Jo Saxton has said, “We love from the inside out.”
In 1 Corinthians Paul writes that he trains his body like an athlete.
No sloppy living for me! I’m staying alert and in top condition. – 1 Corinthians 9: 26-27 (The Message)
For me, staying spiritually fit means I am in rich fellowship with God — communication is open, ongoing and honest. It means I am practicing self-discipline in my spiritual habits — maybe I don’t need that late night Netflix binging that makes my morning prayer time difficult. Maybe I need to limit my social media time so that I can spend more time reading the devotional book I purchased for myself.
When I am working to be someone full of God — and yes it does take work! — then I can be confident that God will be able to use me for the good of His kingdom. How do I know when I am in top condition? Well, my inward focus will turn outward. I’ll not be thinking less of myself, but I’ll be thinking of myself less. My heart will be soft, open and ready to receive and love others as Jesus would.
Of course I will fail many times. I will not always be overflowing with love and grace because I am not perfect and always prone to wander! I’ll be selfish sometimes and miss those opportunities to really show up and love someone. But from this place of brokenness I can confidently say And yet God has placed his hand upon me. We must let His never-ending forgiveness and grace raise us to our feet every time we fall.
Right now is the best time to start training ourselves — we need each other to be at our best!