Cookies, Milk, and an Empty glass

When you are thirsty, there is nothing like the feeling of a cold drink swishing its way down your throat.  The best way I have found to artificially create this is through cookies and milk.  I love cookies, I just had several myself, but I can only eat so many at a time before I am dying for something to drink, but not just any drink, one drink, and that is milk.  The satisfaction that comes from drinking milk after a cookie massacre is truly one of God's greatest gifts.  Your thirst is quenched, you are satisfied, and you are full.  Today I was able to find time.  It had been a while since I've had some to spare, but today was the first day in a long time in which I had no obligations or responsibility.  As a result I was able to read, think, be creative, and most importantly, relax.   It was good to clear my head. I thrive in isolation.  I grow.  I'm equipped.  I am strong. I am rested.  I am filled.  I've come to find that this time to myself is necessary for not only my own personal development as a leader, but for my own sanity and my walk with Christ.  I'm so busy pouring out, I forget that I must be pouring in.  There is also a relationship between my 'level of fulness' and the effectiveness of my ministry.  When I am full, then ministry blossoms and I am used powerfully.  When I am empty, ministry diminishes and I am complacent.  I think emptiness in spirit is a result of self-dependence.  Dependence on self results in ineffective ministry and a fruitless life. 

Constantly pouring yourself into ministry is much like inhalening cookies without ever stopping to take a sip of milk.  The first few cookies are great, but pretty soon your mouth gets dry, the sweetness starts hurting your teeth, and you need a second to clear everything out and be refreshed.  I've had one to many cookies without taking a swig of refreshment.  Today I had my milk.  Today I am refreshed.  And all though there is an empty glass of milk before me, I havn't been this full in a while.