My elder son volunteers on a weekly basis with Young Life. It is a national organization geared to reach out to inner-city youth to help them understand their world and to give them people they can count on and look up to. It has become for him a place to encourage younger kids, to work on leadership skills, and to join with others who are committed to these local kids.
At weekly meetings, there is food, play, small group discussions, and relationship building time. Another aspect of each meeting is a lesson time. The lessons focus on faith, relationships, school/family dynamics, etc.
Last week, the lesson was on what happens if we aren’t powered by God to accomplish all that we’re hoping to accomplish.
My son brought a large flashlight that was powered by a 6 volt battery. (For those of you who might be fuzzy on the various types of batteries, the 6 volt is a large, rectangle battery that takes up a great deal of space.) In this demonstration, he removed the battery from the flashlight and proceeded to fill up the battery compartment with a variety of things.
For example, he had a Barbie doll – to demonstrate focusing on our appearance. He had coins to drop in the battery space – to demonstrate filling our lives with the pursuit of money.
As more things were dropped into the battery compartment, it was clear that there was no room for the battery. The flashlight became useless without its source of power. Since the flashlight clearly needed an energy source to power up, he dropped in several AA batteries into the overly-full compartment. Of course, that didn’t help either.
The point of the illustration was to show that we need God to power our lives. If we try to replace Him with various things (prestige, beauty, money, etc.), we have no power. If we try to replace the full battery with little batteries, it is like trying to take a fully intimate relationship with Him and replacing it with just enough relationship to get by – and it isn’t enough to power our lives or our relationship with Him.
Great lesson. A great reminder as to what role God should be having in our lives. (I’m talking to myself now, too…) What have we filled our lives up with? What are we asking to give strength and satisfaction to our lives that was not intended for that purpose? To what are we looking for help, power, guidance, purpose that is an empty source for us?
We need to plug back into the power source that created us, loves us, and knows exactly what we need.
Maybe this week, carry around a battery in your pocket as a tangible reminder to stay plugged in… it certainly is a lesson that we need to be reminded of, and one that we need to impress upon the kids in our lives.