Life From Within

Daily Reflection / Produced by The High Calling
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Jesus said to her, “Everyone who drinks of this water will be thirsty again, but those who drink of the water that I will give them will never be thirsty. The water that I will give will become in them a spring of water gushing up to eternal life.” The woman said to him, “Sir, give me this water, so that I may never be thirsty or have to keep coming here to draw water.”

John 4:13

There is a big difference between a well and a spring. In a well, you have to go get the water and draw it out of the depths of the earth. A spring is different. Spring water comes from the earth just as well water, but it has found a place to surface. It is there for all to enjoy. Spring water has been filtered by the earth and permeable rocks before breaking forth from the earth, so it is very clean and drinkable.

Jesus is saying that the life he gives is not like a well. We do not have to go and get it. Instead the life Jesus gives is a “spring of water gushing up to eternal life.” It comes from Christ and resides in us and gushes up to eternal life.

We can easily be bogged down or feel held back in our work. Sometimes this comes from a place of life imbalance. We have gone to the well and found it dry. We are operating from positions of burnout, expectation, or responsibility. Instead, Dr. Kirk Byron Jones suggests we work from these three areas; awareness, silence, and playfulness.

Awareness of our surroundings and the people we work with. In work, this may also mean being aware of current trends by pursuing continuing education and having a good network. It means being sensitive to the needs of those we work with.

Silence: Howard Thurman once said, “There is something in every one of you that waits and listens for the sound of the genuine in yourself. It is the only true guide you will ever have. And if you cannot hear it, you will all of your life spend your days on the ends of strings that somebody else pulls.” Drawing away from everything from time to time is a good thing. Take time each day, if for only a few moments, and be silent before God.

Playfulness: God created the Sabbath for a reason. We all need rest. But we also need to play more. Play is one of those things we are created for. Jesus said we cannot enter the kingdom of heaven unless we come as little children. Who plays better than children? When you take Sabbath rest and enjoy playfulness more you will discover yourself starting your week with rest and fun instead of grinding away, “working for the weekend.”

Awareness, silence, and playfulness are important. If are able to implement these areas in your life and work with balance, you will discover life springing out of you. You will not constantly be going to a well to be renewed because whole life will be spring up from within you.

QUESTIONS FOR REFLECTION: How can you help ensure you are driven by a spring gushing up from inside you, rather than having to always go to the well? What is the difference between working out of a place of rest (Sabbath), versus working to the point of exhaustion and needing the weekend to recover? In order to live more balanced, to which area might you give more focus: awareness, silence, or playfulness?

Prayer: Lord Jesus, Son of God. I want a life of balance. Help me be more aware, find times of silence, and enjoy playfulness more. Do not let me be consumed by my job, but let me imprint my job with the individual uniqueness you created in me. Help me be what you created me to be. Amen.


P.S. from Mark: Greg Mamula is the Associate Executive Minister of American Baptist Churches of Nebraska. He speaks, writes, leads training events, preaches, and participates in conversations regarding the missional church and church health with American Baptist Churches.

WHAT HOLDS YOU BACK IN YOUR WORK—and how can you move forward? This article is part of a series at The High Calling addressing that question directly. If you feel held back in your work, or know someone who is frustrated and could use a reassuring Christian perspective, share some encouragement with those folks by sending an article to them via email or social media.

Image courtesy of Laity Lodge Family Camp, one of our sister programs in the Foundations for Laity Renewal.