So, I’m trying to lose weight. Any of you who have tried to lose weight before know that “the experts” recommend drinking a lot more water than most of us do to help with appetite as well as simple hydration. This time around, I’m really trying to be more diligent about this advice, and I’ve discovered something….it really helps! Shocker. I’ve just never been a huge “drinker,” so I really have to work at it. As I sat eating
lunch the other day and wondering why I was feeling full after not eating a ton, I realized how much easier it was to resist the temptation to overeat when I already had a full-feeling in my stomach from the water I had been drinking. Profound, huh?
It occurs to me that this is one of those life-truths that doesn’t just apply to eating. How much easier is it to resist the temptation to sin if I’ve “filled myself” with time reading the Word and in prayer? When I’m tempted to be frustrated by something my husband does, it’s just easier to let it go when I’m “full” of quality time that we’ve spent together talking and enjoying one another’s company. I’m able to be more patient with my son when we’ve shared a laugh and a hug and I’m filled again with the overwhelming love that I have for him.
All of these things that we can do, some might call “preventive maintenance:” trying to prevent something bad or undesirable from happening (overeating, lashing out at our family members, etc.). I really like the thought of these things providing a foundation of fullness. This phrase just speaks to me. If I come at life (eating, relationships, ministry) from a position of already being full, I’m much more able to handle the stresses that come. Because they do come!! Every. Single. Day. And when I’m running on empty, I just can’t handle it! If I’ve not spent with the Lord filling myself up, I undoubtedly will fall prey to temptation when it comes. If my husband and I are never filling each other with kindness and love, then every little frustration does have the potential to blow up into a full-blown fight. If I’m never seeking for ways to enjoy Grayson and to spend time learning more about him, then I will always be in a rush and always be irritated because, after all, he IS three!
Instead of always playing defense, we need to recognize that success in anything, our walk with God, relationships, jobs, education, ministry, dreams that we have, takes an aggressive, pointed pursuit. We need to be on the offense, working at constantly maintaining full foundations. If we wait to act or respond until we’re hungry, hurt or in trouble, we will always be maintaining and never advancing. Preventive maintenance. But if we are constantly building our foundations and working to keep ourselves full, this, THIS is when we start blazing a trail! THIS is when God is really able to use our full potential and we start #winning at life. But WE are responsible for keeping ourselves filled and in a position of readiness.
And it’s constant. Right, you know that? You’re never “one and done.” Because this life is depleting. From the moment you wake up until the time you fall asleep, things are subtracting from us. Think of how great you feel coming back from a lovely, restful vacation with your family. The relaxed schedule, the great food, the abundance of time with your loved ones….You feel very full. But. How long does that last? I’m not trying to be Debbie Downer here, but we all know that that “vacation glow” quickly gets vacuumed up by the daily grind. Subtraction-mode is back in full- force. We have GOT to make it a priority to fill ourselves up again and again and again. My friend, take time today to make sure you are full!
…in your presence there is fullness…(Psalm 16:11)
[This post was originally published on August 6, 2016.]