Feeding the soul

Life moves at warp speed. Every day there are more things to do than time to do them in. Many of us hit the ground running and never let up until it’s time to go to bed. Too many people take little time for their own self-care. While we can do this for short periods of time, this is a recipe for long-term problems. Physical, emotional and spiritual problems can occur when this type of activity becomes one’s lifestyle.

I learned long ago the need to practice good self-care. As I’ve written elsewhere, in the mid-1980s I experienced clinical depression. While a number of factors contributed to that battle the primary one was that I had over-extended myself. I was trying to do too much until my body shut itself down to save me from doing further damage. I spent a year on medication and counseling before becoming healthy again, and I was determined to never do that to myself again.

We’re often told to “keep our eyes on the prize,” but we may be focusing on the wrong prize. Success is not measured just in dollars or position or power but should be measured in having a balanced lifestyle that includes our families, our relationship with God and good physical, emotional and spiritual health.

For me, as a Christian and retired minister, it begins with a time of daily devotions. After making a pot of coffee and enjoying a cup with my wife, I retreat to my study for a time of reading, prayer and reflection. My reading may consist of reading a passage of Scripture or it may involve reading something else that feeds my spirit. This time usually lasts a half-hour to an hour, and it gets my day started off right. It reminds me of what’s truly important in life and provides direction for the remainder of the day.

Just like we need physical food to nourish our bodies, we need spiritual food to nourish our souls. One can starve the soul just as one can starve the body. We can also feed our souls nothing but junk food the same as we can do to our bodies. In order to be healthy in all areas of our lives we need to feed both the body and soul. Setting aside a regular time each day to do that is essential to enjoy true success.

You may feel that you do not have the time to give to a daily devotion. Sure you do! You have 24 hours in your day, and you decide what to do with every one of those minutes. It might require you getting up a little earlier in the mornings. It may mean that you need to turn your TV off for a few minutes. You can find the time if you really believe it’s important to do so.

I encourage you to commit to having a time of devotions each day for one month and see if it doesn’t make a difference in your life. If you’ve never done that, and want some suggestions about how to get started, feel free to contact me. I would be more than happy to help.

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