(January 9, 2008)

At Living Room this Friday we’re going to discuss what activities feed us and what activities drain us. When I think of what feeds me most, giving me joy, peace, energy, and satisfaction, I can see how important God’s commandments are to my day-to-day life. God’s commandment to love God, love others, and love ourselves are not merely given to us because it’s a good thing to do or because we need to do it to please God. God gave us these commandments because he cares for us and wants the best for us. It’s not just good for God – it’s good for us.

I’ve learned that when I do things that flow out of love I receive feelings of joy and satisfaction. When I do things simply because I think I should, because they’re a chore, I get dragged down – drained of energy and joy.

Jesus said to the Samaritan woman at the well, “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water I give him will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.” John 4:13-14. Jesus referred to this spiritual water as “living water.”

I’ve always sort of known what he meant by “living water,” but was never quite able to define it to myself in words. But in the meditating I’ve been doing lately, I think I’ve come up with what he meant: God’s love flows into us and then flows out from us to others – never lying still or becoming stagnant – always flowing. In the receiving and giving it quenches our thirst It feeds us. It produces  abundant life. This is the Holy Spirit living within us, helping us to be the kind of people God wants us to be and helping us live the kind of lives that will be fulfilling.

For me, supporting people with mood disorders, both in bloggerland and in the world around me, feeds me tremendously. It gives me great joy. Cleaning house when I’m expecting friends over is okay too, especially if I listen to some good music while doing it. But when I have to dust, vacuum, and clean the bathrooms simply because “I should,” that’s draining. It’s a drag.

So…What activities feed you? And what activities drain you? Where do you find most joy and fulfillment?