Refuel My Soul!

Written by Corae Young

March 25, 2023

In reading a reflective essay by Ruth Baley Harton called 'When Leaders Lose Their Souls,' it resonated deeply with me. Much of my life, and I believe many others who have grown up in houses of worship, evolved into having a servant’s heart. We often give of ourselves, unfortunately sometimes to our own detriment. In the midst of giving, we can lose sight of the true purpose, and sometimes even lose our own identity. During the COVID-19 pandemic, it became evident that many of us were tied to the routine of service—rehearsals, church meetings, event planning, etc.—so when all of that was stripped away, what were we left with? We had to search deep to realize that while our realities had changed, our souls were missing. As the article states, the writer mentions her teacher Bob Mulholland, who described the soul as 'the place where God is present to you.'

Unfortunately, over time, my soul has felt empty. While I believe that God has revealed His purpose in my life, oftentimes the 'business of service' overshadows its purpose. Additionally, we must remember that we can’t give from an empty vessel. Many times, individuals with servant’s hearts don’t take time to heal, refuel, and regenerate themselves. Just as we take time to refuel our vehicle when our tanks run low, so should we do with our souls. I recall multiple times being stubborn and waiting until the last minute to refuel my vehicle, sometimes even waiting until it says 'refuel' before I take it in. Now, I can clearly see on the dashboard how many miles I have left in my tank, and I keep forging ahead, knowing that there’s always a little more available than what the dashboard says. For many of us who are servant leaders, we move like this, sometimes to our own detriment. We become compassion fatigued, becoming indifferent to people’s needs or suffering. We become bitter because we don’t see ourselves progressing as compared to others, especially knowing the sacrifices made in serving others. We take advantage of the positive relationships in our lives because of the giving, which comes as a detriment to those relationships. Our soul tanks are on 'REFUEL' and are empty!

We have to learn how to refill our souls. Attending a faith service isn’t solely going to do it. Helping someone else isn’t going to do it. Praying ritualistic prayers isn’t solely going to do it. It's the time we personally spend with God. Not the time in service to others, or in planning events. But, what time do we give to our relationship with God? It’s during that time of prayer, reflection, journaling, reading His word, or meditating, that our souls are filled. We have to value that time more than our time in service. It's during this time that God is most present with us and continues to reveal His purpose in our lives. It’s this time that we are refueled, ready for service to others, or in some ways, ready for others to pour into us.

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