What Energizes Me

exclamation.gifI have been a minister almost thirty years.  That is thirty years of sermons, classes, conversations, funerals, weddings, and — meetings.  Much of my work really does energize me.  Here are a few things I love about what I do:

 
I love the sense of being on the edge.  For me, preaching/teaching is not a casual moment where one kind of yawns his way through some material to be presented.  How can a person be cavalier when speaking about the things of God?  There is far too much at stake.  After all, for all of the discussing, debating, etc., that we do regarding its meaning, Scripture remains God’s holy word.    

 
I love the trust factor.  There is not a week that goes by that I am not given the privilege to step inside someone’s heart during a teaching or preaching moment.  After all, people have tender places, private places, secret places that they often spend a lifetime avoiding, hiding, or just accepting.  The gospel has a way of stepping into those places to heal, confront, forgive, and provide assurance.  Hopefully, a preacher will approach this moment as a skilled surgeon (whose goal is life) instead of the grocery store butcher (who usually has another goal with his meat rather than providing life).

 
I love the sacredness of conversation.  Whether it is lunch at Fuddrucker’s or coffee at Starbucks or a conversation in my office, these people give me the gift of their trust (which is both humbling and sobering).  These conversations are ongoing.  I may have a conversation with a person about a very important matter and not have another significant conversation (on that same level) with that person until a few years later.  In a church family, we experience life together through all of its ups and downs.

 
Finally, I love the opportunity to read, think, question, explore, etc.  I find this incredibly stimulating.  There is hardly a week that goes by when I do not learn something new.  Often, I learn something that really matters.

 
I’m not going to tell you that everything about my work energizes me.  Uhhh — no.  There are aspects of my work that I could live without.  As with your work (I suspect), there are some days that are draining and demoralizing.   There are days when I wonder what on earth was accomplished.  Yet, as I just mentioned, there are aspects of my work that are energizing.

 
What about you?  Are there particular aspects of your work that are quite energizing?  Or, maybe even unrelated to your work — what do you find particularly energizing in a given day?

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  • http://www.john1010.blogspot.com Lisa

    I work for a trade association, and I am usually energized when I have the chance to talk or visit with our members, who are all across the state. It is especially gratifying when I am able to help them, even with something as seemingly minor as helping them access our website.
    I’m also energized helping my co-workers, although I admit there are times when I’m neck-deep in my own work and the last thing I want to do is drop everything and help someone else. But I always feel good afterward–I suppose that’s the fruit of being a (sometimes reluctant) servant.

  • DulceDiana

    I have to go with you on this one.
     I love the trust factor.
    It can make everything in a day all worthwhile!

  • http://gregengland.com Greg England

    Some days what energizes me involves the four items you mentioned. Other days it’s something as simple as reading a good blog. Being involved in a music ministry, there’s nothing like getting a song down w/ the praise band that sounds really good. That has taken years of working together through all kinds of music.

  • ConnieLard

    Being in the presence of a positive person energizes me.  We had a guest speaker last night at church who is a great example of this – Henry Melton.  His positive energy just fills the room when he speaks.  I left feeling encouraged and uplifted, just having been in the presence of someone who is still so excited about God after years of following Him! 

  • Jennifer

    There are a few things, one of which is knowing that I am doing something that I was crafted for by the hand of God.  I work in academic settings, and interacting with students energizes me.  Their stories, their questions, when they wrestle with important issues in community.  And I have to say too, I am hugely inspired and stimulated when there is something to improve.  God has given me the gift of developing and editing, and I love to make things better or empower people to see themselves in a new light.  Whether it is program development or giving feedback to a student, these are the moments that give me such energy to keep going the next day.

  • Jim Martin

    Lisa,What struck me about your comment is that you seem to have a good feel for exactly what energizes you.  I suspect you also have a good awareness of at least some of your gifts and the occasions when God often uses you. 

  • Jim Martin

    DulceDiana–Thanks for your comment.  The trust factor is huge.  At work, in family, with friends, etc. it comes to bear in some critical ways.Thanks. 

  • Jim Martin

    Connie,When I read your comment, I thought of a number of occasions when I have felt much the same.  There are some people who speak who not only bring a very good message but their very presence is encouraging. 

  • Jim Martin

    Greg,As I read your comment, it struck me that God often uses a variety of means to provide encouragement and refreshment to his people.  Sometimes these moments seem to occur in the most mundane occasions.

  • Jim Martin

    Hi Jennifer,Well said.  I suspect that not only are you energized in your setting but you are probably seen as one who energizes others.  You sound like you have found your "place" in this world.Thanks,

  • http://www.communityofjesus.blogspot.com/ Ted Gossard

    Yes, Jim. Just trying to be faithful day by day with what God puts in front of me. And because of his faithfulness I get up each day anticipating that, and wanting to go for it, and live in it.
     
    And like you, I have to get recharged and rebooted along the way. But God is there through all the times. And keeps us going, in Jesus. And in his Body. And in mission to the world.
     
    So that is where I’m at. Thanks for sharing your own experience in this for us.