I am tired. Very tired. So tired that I can’t believe my eyes are still open.
Last night I stayed up late working on a video for my students (I am a middle school teacher). Did I have to do this? No and yes. I did not have to make this video. However, I felt like it was something that my students needed to help them understand what I am teaching, and therefore I needed to do this.
I am a perfectionist, of sorts, when I do projects like this. This fact, coupled with a slow computer that kept crashing the editing, kept me up to WAY past my bedtime. I was able to talk LA into getting ready first, and this let me get a whopping 4 hours of sleep (I need at least six to feel functional and 7-8 to feel rested). So, like I said, I am tired.
Usually, given these type of circumstances, I would turn to the help of an energy shot like 5 Hour Energy, or the like. For those that are skeptical, they do work. You have non-jittery energy for about five hours with no crash at the end. When it is over, you feel tired like when you started, but no crash. At least this is the experience for me. I do wonder about the side effects. This stuff is too good to be true. I keep waiting for a study to link it to something bad. That is why I try to use it sparingly.
Today I did not have time to buy any. So I have spent the day on the rest that comes from four hours of sleep. And you know what? To quote REM (rest in peace…they announced their break-up today), “I feel fine.” Though, I did barely get through our faculty meeting after school.
As we were driving to get NB from daycare, my wife and I were talking about this. The thought came to me that the times that I stay up late or use my energy in serving others, somehow I have just enough energy for the next day though I shouldn’t. I thought of several other times when I had the same experience.
The Spirit started to speak to me with the idea that this is the way it is supposed to be. We are supposed to pour ourselves out in service of others, doing what we know is right, and then rely on God through the Spirit to give us strength to keep going. We are supposed to offer ourselves up for the cause of others and wear oursleves out for them. This, in turn, should turn us to the Spirit in trust that he will give us the energy that we need for our daily lives.
As I have been reading through the Bible, it has become very clear that one of God’s main “deals” is service to others and justice for others. Doing what is right and fair for the sake of others. It is talked about constantly in both the Old and New Testaments, and it is exemplified in the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ.
Becuase Christ died, was raised, and went to live at the right hand of God the Father, the Spirit was poured out on us. As we pour our lives out for others, the Spirit sustains us. He fills us back up. Once we our full, we can pour ourselves out again and start the cycle over.
Paul said it best in Philippians 2, in verses 14-18. He was talking about how there should be joy in the fact that we are wearing ourselves out in service to others. We shouldn’t complain about it. There is joy in this that comes from the Spirit (I added this part, but it where we get our joy). He said that even though he could die, he doesn’t think it is in vain because it was in the service to others (the Philippians and other churches like theirs). The “drink offering” is a referance to the Old Testament laws that governed Temple worship. Wine was poured out as a offering of worship to God. And this is what we do now. We pour ourselves out as a drink offering…we pour our lives out in service to others.
Being refilled by the Spirit, getting my strength and energy today from him, is WAY better than a 5 Hour Energy! I am tired, but I feel great. I will get some sleep tonight, and then pour myself out again from my students and coworkers tomorrow! I can’t wait!
What about you? Do you know what I am talking about when I talk about getting strength and energy from the Spirit? Do you pour yourself out for others? How? Do you feel energized by this because you know you are pouring yourself out in worship of Jesus, who poured himself out for us?