Commentary: Improving your fuel
Just like an engine will never run well with the wrong fuel, neither will we. Emotionally, as humans, our fuel will determine how efficiently and long we run. We must regularly ask ourselves, "What fuel am I burning? What are the motivating factors for my ambition?"
Last week I shared with you three dangerous fuels. The first is the person who is driven or controlled by something outside of themselves; this fuel may be a fear or a desire to prove themself as worthwhile or adequate in the eyes of others. Another dangerous fuel is the person who is driven by obligation. This is the person who does not feel it is safe, acceptable or even an option to say "No." The third dangerous fuel is the person who wants to achieve, constantly wondering what grade or score others are giving them.
What do we do if we are running on an unhealthy fuel? I recently heard a presentation on being drawn rather than being driven. Rather than being inspired by fear, what if we are inspired by our love for God and for other people? John wrote in the Bible that perfect love drives out fear. My desire is to grow my love for God and others and be less dominated by fear.
What if we replace our motivation of obligation with a motivation of gratitude; realizing that every good and perfect gift is a result of God's grace? I get to work here. I am blessed. Instead of subconsciously striving, I am consciously choosing. I am choosing to clean my car and I am thankful for transportation as I vacuum.
What if instead of focusing on demolition (getting rid of a problem) I focus on my ability and opportunity to be an architect? God has invited me to be a part of his story, and as I walk with him I am creating something beautiful in his sight. Yes, there are good days and hard days, but through it all God is working in me and through me. So, I wake up every day anxious to see what he will do.
When you live your life as someone who is drawn rather than someone who is driven it changes your fuel. You are free to say no. You are free to fail, knowing that failure is never final. You are free to be you. God made you amazing. Rather than focusing on something to prove, you can focus on someone to love.
Here are a few practical action items to take.
• You need to know your story. What unhealthy fuels have worked their way into your system and thought process? What story is God writing in your life? What has God done for you?
• You need relationships. For me personally, I am constantly becoming more recognized in the community I live in, but less known. I have to intentionally build an inner circle of those who know me well.
• I have to discover and monitor my rhythm of work, rest, and connecting with God and others. I have to create time and space for fun, reflection, and connection.
I pray this has been helpful to you. God bless you. See you next Sunday!