In our teens and 20s, we seem to have unlimited reserves of energy. Nothing stops us or even slows us down. However, when we get into our 30s and 40s, we notice that our energy supplies are not infinite as we thought. Some days we fly, but other days we flop. What makes the difference?

At first it’s difficult to figure out, but eventually we notice that some activities fill our tanks while others drain us. Then, we figure out that we have to balance fillers and drainers so that when we engage in a draining activity, we follow it with something that fills us; otherwise we’ll be running on fumes, which won’t last long.

Managing our energy consumption is as important as managing our money and our time. Pastor Greg’s words reflect on his wife Jeni’s experience of depression, but they are applicable to all Christians living long-term overstressed lives:

The life of a young family can be incredibly stressful, and I don’t think we really appreciate enough the weight of that day-in, day-out stress. And it doesn’t have to be a family that experiences some really traumatic event. It can just be the normal everyday life of a busy young family. If you don’t take precautions for physical health, emotional health, spiritual health, eventually you’ll just run out of gas and energy and you’ll crash. And I think it’s a real danger in conservative Christian circles that we just keep going, going, going, doing the Lord’s will, having all the spiritual rationale behind it, and then suddenly finding ourselves completely exhausted.

Managing our energy begins with identifying our drainers and fillers so that we can plan ahead and fill up when we’re running low. To help you identify yours, here’s a sample of mine:

Read the rest of this article at the ERLC website.