Daily Withdrawals

Youth Specialties
April 16th, 2010

Would you like to make a withdrawal? The ATM blinked…I withdrew $20 cash from my account today because I can’t remember the last time I had cash in my wallet. Honestly, life has become so automated that I rarely have need for tangible green. So it felt good to put a $20 bill in my wallet and know that if I came across someone selling strawberries or roses on the side of the street today I would be able to stop, if I wanted to.

So what does this little analogy have to do with eating right and working out? Well, someone once told me to be most productive and to be at my best in ministry that I would need to schedule a time of withdraw every day to do something physical. And, I also needed to eat a solid lunch. I’m not referring to a fatty fast-food binge, but a nutritious and non overbearing meal to keep the creative juices flowing and the body from saying “no” when you want it to say “yes”.

So I tried it for a week. I would withdraw from my bat cave, unplug from the computer, stop thinking about the Wednesday night talk, and put my phone on silence to go for a walk outside, go for a run, or if the weather was bad go to the YMCA and get on some sort of machine for a few minutes. I’d then pick up a fruit bowl from the grocery store and grab a mini-sub from the deli.

Here’s what happened. I started getting great ideas out in the sunshine. I felt rejuvenated walking back into the office. I made connections with people that I normally wouldn’t have seen or heard and most of all, I had energy to do what I love most…love on teenagers at the most crucial part of the day 4 PM, when they are getting of their buses, texting, meeting up for Sonic burgers, or coming to youth group.

I’ve got a full time position as the mama in my family, a full-time position as the middle school pastor at my church, and a ministry of speaking and writing in my spare time. It’s easy to let the daily withdraw slide because no one is checking up on me to see if I did it or not. But really, when it comes down to it, people will see if I’m alive or really dragging. Teenagers will notice when I’m really listening or when I’ve just given them an “I’ll pray for you” response because I didn’t hear a word they said. My talk on Wednesday nights will either be full of energy or waning a little.

So, you’re probably not going to get fired or looked down upon if you don’t work out and no one really cares what you eat, unless it effects the smell of your communal office space. But you will feel the burn of ministry if you don’t detach for a little every day, get outside (or inside), get those muscles moving, and fill yourself with wholesome foods to replenish.

I see a difference when I’m drinking plenty (of water people!) and doing this every day. So the next time you’re at the bank, ask yourself, when was the last time you made a withdrawal from your life in ministry to move and to get the nourishment you need to thrive? 

Youth Specialties

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in the YS Blog are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the opinion or position of YS.