July 22, 2008

Running on Batteries

As I type these words, I am sitting in a dark office. The only light that allows me to see my keyboard is coming from the few rays of the sun breaking through the pear tree outside my office window … and from the monitor of my laptop. Why? Well, there is currently a nice sized tree, splintered like a toothpick and laying across Ridge Avenue, just down the hill from the church. Power lines are strewn around like broken rubber bands. And we have been completely without power for eight or nine hours now. And yet here I sit, typing an article on a piece of electrical equipment. How? One word: batteries! We use them all the time: in cell phones, in MP3 players, in laptop computers, etc.! Too bad they don’t come in air conditioners! But today I am thanking God for batteries … particularly the one Dell inserted into this little computer. It would be hard for me to get much done today without batteries!

Now thinking about these things got me to thinking about spiritual batteries … and the need for keeping them charged. We would all like to stay plugged in to Christ’s all day every day … to have beautiful devotionals every morning and find ourselves sending up prayers of praise and petition here and there all day long. But the reality is that some days a tree falls into our schedule. Something unexpected happens and quiet time is cut short, or is distracted or flat. And on those days, though we know Christ is with us always, the immediate source of power seems to be shut off. I would guess you have more of those days than you might like to admit. I do.

But is there such a thing as a spiritual battery? Is there a way to, as it were, overstock your spiritual supply so that, even when the week is long and the quiet time is short, there are reserves to draw upon? I think we all would say that there is. It’s called Sunday! Sunday is the one opportunity in the week to plug your heart into the wall all day long and build up reserve energy for the week. That is physically the case. But it is also the case spiritually. The Lord’s Day, like no other day, affords an opportunity to be taught God’s word. This day of rest from your normal activities, like no other day, offers time and opportunity to read God’s word and to meditate on it; to read good Christian literature; to pray. Sunday is the day to plug in so long and so well that the battery icon on your soul is fully colored in.

We all know these things. But let me ask you: How are you actually using your Sundays (especially outside the walls of the church building)? To stock up on all the things that necessarily knock down the power lines the rest of the week (household chores, work catch-up, weed-eating)? To fill up on diversions like sports and television? Or are you using the Lord’s Day to plug in to the gospel for as long as you possibly can – both in public and private worship – so that your battery will be charged the rest of the week?

“If because of the Sabbath you turn your foot from doing your own pleasure on My holy day, and call the Sabbath a delight, the holy day of the LORD honorable, and honor it, desisting from your own ways, from seeking your own pleasure and speaking your own word, then you will take delight in the LORD, and I will make you ride on the heights of the earth; and I will feed you with the heritage of Jacob your father, for the mouth of the LORD has spoken” (Isaiah 58.13-14).

Are you riding on the heights of the earth? If not, could it be that you have forgotten to charge your battery?

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