have you ever seen one of those stuffed animals that lights up and plays music when you squeeze it? a few of the kids i’ve watched have them and like to snuggle with them. curious george’s head or glow worm’s face reacts endearingly to embraces by little arms and the song inside of them sings a melody to comfort the spirit of the little ones.
i just got back from spending a week in florida, visiting ocean’s edge and calvary ftl for their essential worship conference. i had been looking forward to my trip for weeks beforehand, getting refreshed and equipped at the conference, relaxing by the pool or on the beach in the hot sun, and reuniting with the friendly faces of my oe family. on my spirit air, $9 fare member seat, equipped with a straight back chair and approximately six and a half inches of leg room, a funny sensation swept over my body.
my mind slipped into dangerous territory as i began to worry what my time would actually be like down there again. i started listening to the lies, “what if they don’t really like me?” “you’re really just going to be one of those lame alumns who go back to their alma mater to relive the ‘glory days’.” “they don’t need you or want you to come back.” my spirit started sinking. i wondered if i’d made a mistake in going back down and in my mind, i thought i had just created this fantasy with my memories of south florida.
then i arrived at the airport and was greeted by open arms, smiling faces, and warm embraces from two of my dear friends. furthermore, when they dropped me off at the apartments, shrieks of joy and two more sets of arms wrapped their love around my waist. the next day at the conference, the pattern continued all day as i reunited with more and more of my family members. i literally felt their spirits lift mine and the anxiety i cultivated on my flight melted away. i was foolish to believe those lies.
each one of those reunions was memorable and important. i’d like to call these moments, the “light up” reaction… you know, when the face of someone you love literally lights up because they see you. think about what that does inside of you. these reactions actually feed our spirits, because it’s as if someone is saying, “YOU! you are here. you being here makes me better. you are valuable, you are precious, and you are loved!”
our spirits, much like our bodies, need to be fed. if they aren’t fed, they will whither. you can feed your spirit by doing things you enjoy, listening to good music, enjoying nature, hanging out with close friends, enjoying a well-cooked meal, reading an inspirational story, celebrating a victory, or simply sitting in silence with a kindred spirit. one of my favorite ways to be fed though, is through the “light up” reaction. my friends in florida provided such good food to my spirit, as if they were human versions of the light-up stuffed animals who sing their soothing songs to the little ones who hug them.
be the kind of person who lights up when a loved one walks into the room. you will serve the receiver a meal for their spirit that they won’t soon forget.
thanks @oceansedge friends, for feeding my spirit!