man working on machinery

No Such Thing as Maintenance-Free

Most of you know that I’m a fisherman for pleasure. I love being on the water, love the sound of the waves, the motion of the rocking deck, the precision of casting, and the thrill of the hookset. Through the years, I have purchased some high-quality equipment and some that wasn’t so great. But I have often lived as if things are maintenance free.

So, it was rather shocking when I was putting the boat back on the trailer that one of the bunks collapsed. Years of exposure had finally broken down the material (and I have a replacement project on tap this weekend). Reels must be lubricated and cleaned, tackle needs to be sorted and hooks need to be replaced. Carpet must be cleaned, and rod eyes must be replaced. This is why the old adage about ownership goes something like this: “The best two days for a boat owner are the day he buys it and they day he sells it!”

As much as I understand boats and cars and lawnmowers must have regular maintenance, I know that my SOUL needs it too. When I hear my own thoughts say, “I’m too busy,” I feel an impending need to stop and care for my soul. Certain habits help, but at some point, I know I have to stop and settle and do some more thoughtful maintenance with the Lord.

If I don’t, the “justifier meter” comes on, the “neglectometer” kicks into gear, and soon I’m frazzled, resentful, and my joy is sapped. Reading has always helped, music has always soothed, but intentional solitude with God has no good substitute. So before old habits start creeping back into my thinking, or my relationships start to show neglect, or I’m short-fused with someone I care about, I must park my heart and seek out the Savior’s Word to me. Usually, as soon as I start journaling again, I find my heart is freshly recharged.

However you connect best, make no mistake–you need to maintain your soul’s health. And you can’t do it without deeply connecting with HIM. Maybe that’s why some of the most precious words that Jesus ever spoke the disciples are these: “Come away with me to a lonely place. . .”


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