I can't live without water.
For real. I do some carpentry on the side, and after a long day in the sun, all I can think about is the glacier-cold water bottle in the bottom of the Pelican cooler (cheaper than the YETI and gets the same job done - look into it).
The older I get, the more I feel like butter scraped over too much bread (thanks, Bilbo). The older I get, the more I realize how essential the essentials are to maintain sanity and to survive.
I need relationship. I need Evan time. I need music. I need Christ. I need Bit. I need water.
So, I've put some thoughts together on what I think are some essentials to make it. Let me know what you think:
1. JESUS: Duh, right? I was talking to some of my buddies that I have the PRIVILEGE of doing ministry with, and we realized we get too busy for God. Often. What a tragedy. I mean, my God, I need Him. I'd rather have Jesus than breath, so why can't I make time to hang with Him? Don't get religious. I never want to approach God with my big ole Pharisee hat on. I'll only do it out of the overflow of what He's done for me, and if I give myself the time to think about it, that's a lot of overflow. I think I'll make time for Him in the morning. First thing's first, ya know?
2. PEOPLE: I don't like people. I'd rather punch more and hug less. However, when I connect with Jesus, and we get our minds synced up just right, I can't get enough of them. People, I mean. I've heard it said of Brian Houston (Hillsong Lead Pastor) that it pains him so much to hear negative talk about another person, he'll abruptly, physically leave a conversation. Turn his back to it. What an incredible conviction! I pray for that. Maybe we all should.
3. ALONE TIME: Like it or not, Jesus exhibited more than one sign of being an introvert. Tight-knit group of bros. Escaped the growing crowds when He could. Wandered off alone after major milestones in His life. Dude was an introvert when He needed to be, and I don't think there's a thing wrong with it. He had priorities. He had essentials. He took care of most of them alone.
4. DIET: Calories aren't your enemy. Sugars are. Sluggish, grumpy emotions can disappear when you start taking care of the body the Lord entrusted to you. Exercise is secondary to diet. Whatever you think you're burning off, you're putting right back in with those "protein-packed" hot wings. This doesn't take a radical lifestyle change; it takes you looking at the side of the box and wanting to feel better. Your kids will thank me, and you and I will be ripped grandpas.
5. HOBBY: Find one. Do it. Invite a friend or two along for the ride, or do it alone. Just find something that makes you be human again. I'm going to hike to the middle of nowhere with a hammock and see what happens. Forget about that "nine to five" for an hour (or 72).
6. COFFEE: If you have to ask, you'll never know. Don't worry: your "SALT LIFE" sticker on your car that's never seen the coast will get you through this.
Repeat steps one through six.