Happy New Year! As we start the new year off many folks will be making goals and resolutions, they’ll be starting diets and workout programs, committing to read more, or even just working harder on eliminating bad habits. We all approach the new year with the expectation of something fresh and new (even if we don’t make resolutions).
In Matthew 6:11 (the Lord’s Prayer), Jesus says, “Give us this day our daily bread.”
In many cultures, bread symbolizes sustenance. It’s life giving, a symbol of something that keeps you going forward. Even in our western culture, bread (especially in whole wheat form) is a common place element in many of our meals.
However you look at it, Jesus is praying that God would provide daily sustenance. For daily fuel. For something daily from God to sustain Him.
I have two questions to ponder as we move forward into a new year today.
1) What Sustains You?
- What are areas of your life that recharge your batteries?
- What people has God placed in your life to help you stay accountable and energized?
- What practices and disciplines do you have in place in your life that provide you with direction and purpose?
- Are there places in your life in which the atmosphere “pushes” you to be a better you?
- Is there technology that helps you connect better (through scripture reading, relationships, etc.)
- Do you have a mentor? Are you a mentor?
- Do you have hobbies and extracurricular activities that give you joy?
- Is your diet life-giving and providing you good fuel so that you can live and work as unto the Lord?
- Do you challenge yourself physically? Do you workout and/or exercise enough to stimulate change in your physical capabilities?
- Do you sleep well? 8-9 hours a night?
2) What Drains You?
- Are there areas in your life that deplete your batteries?
- Are there people or relationships that you hold on to that wear you down?
- Do you have habits that waste big chunks of time in your life?
- Do you choose to spend time in places in which the atmosphere brings you down?
- Do you waste time on technology? Do you spend more time in front of a screen than you do with real life people (family, friends)?
- Are you spread too thin? Are you over-committed?
- Are you eating a lot of processed foods? Do you eat a lot of sugar? Do you drink more calories than you eat (sweetened drinks, soft drinks)? Do you eat out of convenience?
- Do you sit a lot? Do you spend time behind a computer screen all day?
- Because of the other things on this list are you sleeping poorly?
Obviously this list includes a lot of spiritual and physical elements. One of my goals early this year is to not only work on areas in my tangible, physical life, but to also cry out to God for a tangible manifestation of purpose, guidance, and direction in the spiritual side of my life.
Obviously, we are beings that are affected by things on either side, and sometimes they are intricately intertwined.
My challenge for you as worship leaders is to take a few moments today to look at your life through the lens of these two questions.
Does it sustain me?
Does it drain me?
Ask God to help you SEE those areas of sustenance and those areas of depletion. I think we can and should use Jesus’ words as inspiration (and an example) in asking for God to provide us our “daily bread” but I believe that we can also ask Him to show us areas where we can “find” His sustenance that we’ve been overlooking because of OUR bad habits.
What do you think?