There are many things we can consider recharging. So far, this month, we’ve covered topics ranging from health, nutrition, sleep, etc. We also looked at how journaling is a powerful way to recharge ourselves with its ability to help us think clearly. But what if you’re doing all of that and you still feel like a part of you needs a boost. Well, it could have to do with faith.
How Many Bars Remain In Your Faith Battery?
Let’s start by thinking about recharging our faith to that of a cell phone battery. As you use the cell phone, the bars indicate the amount of stored energy in the battery. As the battery gets used the bars begin to reduce. If the battery is not recharged, it keeps on reducing and after a while starts giving an alert. If we choose to ignore it, the phone goes off once the battery power is used up. Then what happens? Well, the owner becomes unreachable. The consequences could be very costly, especially in case of emergency.
All the gold which is under or upon the earth is not enough to give in exchange for virtue. - Author: Plato
When we ignore our spiritual nature we are saying we are shutting ourselves off from the greatest energy form ever known. And yes, the consequences and costs are high. That is when men step out in their relationships. Cheat clients from getting full value. Play dirty politics at work. These and so much more drain our spiritual batteries.
The Problem with Faith
Here’s the thing, there’s a huge problem with religion today. Many men continue to move away from the traditional church with many having no spiritual practice at all. This happens because our faith traditions are like a syndicated TV sitcom. It’s there every Sunday at 11:00 AM but it feels repetitive and uninspiring. I get it. I was there not that long ago.
The thing is we shouldn’t be shying away if we doubt our faith. Sometimes that "meh" feeling can mask major doubts. Doubts can feel scary, but if you're wrestling with deep questions of faith, that's okay. You're not the first (just check out the biblical book of Job.)
If you have questions, look for answers. Just as exercise strengthens your muscles, the process of searching may strengthen your faith, and chances are you'll discover at least a few helpful hints along the way.
What If I Don’t Believe?
I was wondering when you were going to ask this question. My take on this is all of us believe in something. The question then isn’t about not believing it’s what do you believe and how does that belief serve you? It’s the questions we ask ourselves that keeps us in a rut or gets us out. Pushing a rope uphill is futile. Finding the answers to deep questions of who am I, where am I going and what is my purpose can only be found through faith. And that faith will look different to some of us and similar to others. So, for the atheist, the upcoming list is still a way to recharge your faith.
7 Ways to Recharge Our Faith
Regardless of what faith compass is, the ways I share below work for any of them, including non-believers.
1. Get disciplined
What? I thought the first one was going to be easy. Nope. Let’s face it. Anything worth doing and that has value in your life needs discipline applied to it. So, what do I mean by getting disciplined? For starters schedule it. All of us can find 5-minutes a day to start a spiritual practice. Choose a time that works for you and get started. Remember, to keep it small so it’s an easy win. Then you can build on that success.
Many of us have a favourite charity we support. The charities appreciate the financial resources people provide and they also appreciate volunteer work. I have supported a local soup kitchen and homeless shelter for about 10 years now through a monthly donation. While that made me feel good, it paled in comparison to how I felt when I started volunteering monthly to prepare food. The look of appreciation on the face of a man, woman and children as they come up to get their food beats the monthly donation hands down. Find a charity where you can put your skills to work volunteering. It will charge your faith faster than any of the rest on this list.
3. Shake it up a bit
Remember the TV sitcom analogy? Maybe it’s time to shake up your spiritual practice a bit, especially if it has gotten stale. One good way is to start journaling. Or choose one virtue to work on for a week. Ben Franklin did this practice for years as he worked on his “path to personal perfection.”
4. Unplug to plugin
As more of the population moves into urban areas, we are losing our connection with nature. Taking an afternoon or day in nature is an opportunity to unplug from the digital world and social media. We get a chance to spend time with something scary… our thoughts. All kidding aside, what a great way to problem-solve while re-energizing your faith than to be in nature.
5. Start a hobby
I wanted to use the concept of a hobby vs. meditation. Meditation is a typical thing you would find on a list like this. So, instead, consider there are other forms of meditation that at first blush might not seem like meditation. Let me explain. On occasion, I like to shift things up in my morning routine and practice Tai Chi. I have an instructional video that I follow and it is a nice change of pace. Now, consider this idea in the terms of a hobby. When we indulge ourselves in a hobby we are participating in an activity that is calming and refreshing. Time stands still. In some circles that is how meditation is described. So, find a hobby and make time for it.
6. Get some rest
We live in a time where we are always on-call. We can thank Steve Jobs for the iPhone and the plethora of apps that came after. I wonder how different the world would be today if the original Blackberries was still the market share leader? Not a lot of great apps on that puppy. The point is we need downtime just to recharge our bodies, minds and spirit. Finding that time regularly will do wonders for other spiritual practices.
7. Read inspiring works and pray regularly
I thought you said all of these would be for non-believers as well? I’m keeping my end of the bargain. First, as believers, each of us has our preference towards what uplifts us. Find the “work” that resonates with you and drink (read) from it daily. For the non-believers, I am sure there is a book that fits this suggestion. As for prayer, the same holds for both. For believers, there is a prayer that brings peace and serenity when you hear it. Speak it daily, especially when you are low. For the non-believer, just giving thanks to others for serving you is a form of prayer. You are blessing them for their efforts. Recite a quote from the same book that holds a virtue or value that has meaning to you will also work. The point is you can pray without having to be a believer in God.
Recharging our spiritual batteries does take some discipline. Our goal in this practice is to avoid the temptation of burying ourselves in activities so deeply that we don’t create time for our spiritual nourishment and growth – the two are not the same. The more intentional we are about getting spiritually refreshed, renewed, and revitalized the better our lives become. Remember not to feed people while you’re dying of starvation! Know when it’s time to get away to get better. It will help you not to falter on destiny’s road.