Energy Costs by Rev’d Stewart Perry

Energy seems to be dominating the news at the moment. We’re in a crisis according to the news reports I’ve heard over the last week. I’ve studied Economics and I have a Commerce degree but I still find the whole issue a little confusing. I am hoping that I can stay warm this winter – yes I a have turned into a soft Queensland resident and I’m finding this winter the coldest I’ve experienced so far and we’re only 17 days in!!

While journalists and politicians are talking about energy costs it has made me reflect on what our personal energy costs. I don’t mean your household electricity bill, I mean the energy we all need to survive in the hectic world we are living in.

None of us are Energizer Bunnies, we don’t have an endless supply of energy that allows us to keep going and going and going… although you could be forgiven that the expectation of the world we live in, is that we should all be able to do that.

Where do you find your energy and where and how do you recharge, and perhaps something you may not have considered, what does it cost you and others for you to find energy?

We are all different and some people find energy from getting away from everyone, while others find energy in large crowds. Some of us need a bit of both from time to time.

Even Jesus withdrew from his disciples and the crowds to pray and replenish his energy. I am often surprised by how often Jesus seemed to do this as well as what Jesus didn’t get done. He did not heal everyone, he didn’t solve all the problems, he did not preach everywhere and teach everyone.

So that makes me wonder why we often expect so much of ourselves. If Jesus couldn’t do everything why do we think we can?

In our pursuit of getting stuff done we can find our pursuit of the energy to fuel that desire can come at a cost and there can be collateral damage.

My desire to recharge will sometimes mean that others bear the cost. Me getting away from everyone, could mean that the people who need me most don’t have access to me. Spending time in crowds and social situations could mean that I’ve lost opportunities for intimacy and close connection.

I’d love nothing more to go on another golfing road trip but the last time I did that I know there was a cost that I didn’t bear. Leanne had to do all the household & parenting responsibilities while I was away which I’m sure drained her energy levels.

In a “if it feels good – do it” kind of world I wonder if we regularly stop and ask ourselves, who bears the cost for us to feel good about ourselves?

The church is supposed to be a community that is Christ-like and as such we should be more concerned about the cost we can bear for another person over our personal desires and preferences. Ultimately Christ did bear a cost that we will never have to worry about. We use the word “Grace” to describe the cost that was paid. An old acronym says that Grace is (G)od’s (R)iches (A)t (C)hrist’s (E)xpense. But I’m not sure that completely covers the magnitude of what Grace actually is, and it also doesn’t just let us live our lives in a blissful unawareness of others. Rather, the opposite, we should live in an intentional awareness of others, looking for opportunities to “pick up the bill” if you like so that others can be refreshed, energised and have an opportunity to build a relationship with God.

Next time you hear the word energy mentioned on the news, maybe pause and say a prayer that you might be energised in a way that brings life to others and look for opportunities to bring energy as a gift for those who have run low.

Have a great week!