The Energy Meter or What I’ve learned from Halo 4

Yes, Halo 4 is a video game on the XBox. I play it with my son Marcus, and we both enjoy shooting down aliens. The only problem is they shoot back, so we need to be careful that we give our characters time to ‘regenerate’ before they can return to battle. So if the energy bar on the top of the screen goes flashing red, we need to hide from the enemy, and give ourselves time to ‘recharge’ before we re-engage in the fight.

That made me think of how we could all use an Energy Meter on the top of our screens. Imagine one day waking up, and as you wake up you notice all kinds of readings and dials in your vision, as if you were wearing a high-tech helmet. Let’s imagine you wouldn’t freak out and wonder if you had been abducted by aliens. What kind of meters or dials would you want? If you watch Continuum, you’ll know what I’m talking about; same idea.

I would want an Energy Meter at the top of my screen with the following readings: -10….-5….0….+5….+10. Wouldn’t that be awesome? When your energy level is below zero, into the negative figures, you know you shouldn’t be around people, because you’re likely to be useless to them, if not downright toxic. You need time to recharge. Before engaging with others – co-workers, clients, and most of all, family members – check your reading! Is it below 0? Are you encountering people with negative or positive energy? If you can get away with it, hide until you get the reading above 0!

But what do you do when it’s in the negative? One thing you don’t do, if you can, is interact with others. You have to get it above zero. Just being aware of it and owning the reading is a huge step. Far too often we encounter people when we’re full of negative energy without even being aware of it, and we end up damaging relationships and people. Being aware helps a lot. But then, I am told, don’t do a ‘downer’ – “Oh, I’m so negative… boohoo’ – but rather say something like “I don’t have energy, I need to replenish my reserves”. It’s a normal thing that we get tired, and we need to manage our energy levels. Lots of things can help with that: taking a moment or two, prayer (done correctly), meditation, reading, closing your eyes, smelling and drinking good coffee or tea etc.

What did you find works for you? What do you do to get a more positive reading on your Energy Meter?

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3 thoughts on “The Energy Meter or What I’ve learned from Halo 4

  1. My issue with being below zero is that this is my natural state. I get up and go about connecting with people in the small gaps in between 🙂

  2. I can certainly relate to that, Sam! My theory is that when we relate to people, especially when we attempt to connect with them at a deep level, we always use energy reserves we never knew we had. That has a price though, because it’s difficult to tell how many reserves we carry. There’s no dial or indicator I find. That is why the first responsibility of a spiritual leader is care for self. That’s why I love Eugene Peterson’s idea of the ‘unbusy pastor’.

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