We Inspire People to Live Better Lives


Good In/Good Out

Wednesday, March 4, 2020
Featuring: Rev. Richard Rogers

Click HERE to download this transcript.

Rev. Richard Rogers: Okay. So, I’m going to start on a down note. And I know I’m starting on a down note, but everybody breathe and we’ll be okay. Alright? So, have you ever been burned out? Like really burned out? Like zero, empty, roll-you-up, push-you-out-the door burned out? Right? And has everybody had that experience?

When you were in that experience, was that an input problem our an output problem? Both … [Sighs]

[Congregation laughs]

Covering all the angles. Right. Absolutely. Right. How many of you believe that you’re burned out because you did too much? How many want to believe that you didn’t receive enough? And how many want to stick with both?

See, here’s what I want you to see. Right? That for most of us – when we feel burned out – we really believe it’s an output problem. We believe that we did too much.

And I want to talk about that tonight, because I’m not sure that’s true. Because in my experience – and what I believe to be so – is that Spirit is asking us to give more and more in all that’s going on in the world today. If you look at some of Jesus’ greatest teachings, he invited us not to draw a line, but to actually go over the line. And we don’t really know what to do with that in our culture. Right? Where he said, “If a man asks for your coat, give him your shirt, too.” It’s like – no, no, I have boundaries.”

[Congregation laughs]

I’ll give you my shirt, but not my coat.” Or, “I’ll give you my coat, but not my shirt.” Right?

Or there is another teaching. He said, “If a man asks you to walk a mile, go two miles.” And so, he looks like he’s trying to teach us how to be whacked! Right. Like how to absolutely be on the fast track to burn out! And it looks like that’s what he’s teaching us over and over again: that no matter what life is asking of you, you have to got to go do more than that. And how are you supposed to do more than that? You can’t do more than that! Right? Because most of the time, what we think we have control over is the output.

But how many times do you say that you believe that God is infinite? Right? And that God is your source? Right?

So, what I want you to see is that – as spiritual beings – we have an output that we think we feel safer in controlling. But we also have an input. And I’d like you to see, over and over again, that for most of us, it’s not an output problem. It’s an input problem. That most of us are not downloading enough juice – enough spiritual energy, enough love, enough whatever it is that we need – to actually be able to give at the next highest level.

And this year, we set up a theme to elevate your life and I invited you to go to a higher ground: live your life in a higher way. And so, what happens for most of us: as spiritual beings, we know that we’re being asked. We can feel the call to give more, to be more, to live more. We can feel that. But if we also… So if we then try to elevate our life to a higher level, what happens is that we accelerate our burn out.

And we have a lot of wonderful, spiritual people right now who are feeling burned out. They’re trying to live their life from this accelerated, higher level. They’re giving at a high level. They’re downloading more and more of the giving – the being a channel for more and more God – but they’re not also downloading enough for themselves. They’re not opening to really receive at the next highest level.

And so tonight, I want you to really look at your own life. Is this a giving problem? And some of us need to open up and give more, and trust that we can give more. Some of us are holding back, and we know that we have more good in us. We know that we have more to give. And we know that we can actually become a greater giver. But for most of us, it is not a giving issue. It’s a receiving issue! And we need to download more God so that we can play at a higher level. And I want you to really pay attention to how full you feel.

A few years ago, I started doing healing weekends up in Cave Creek. And the premise of the whole healing weekend is the underlying belief that you have to get full and stay full. That you can’t heal – you can’t transform your life – if you’re not living from a full place. And I what I want you to see tonight is that, if you’re going to live a greater life – if you’re going to do more good in the world, if you’re going to live the best version of you – you have to not only get full, but you have to stay full. And being full has to be a priority in your life.

How many of you have ever gone shopping for a car, and they talk about the engine? At some point when you’re shopping for a car, they go and open the hood. You look in it like you’re supposed to know what you’re looking at, right?

[Congregation laughs]

And they say, “Well, it’s a 3.2 cubic blah, blah, blah, blah, blah.” And you go, “Fabulous! That’s what I really wanted! I wanted all six cylinders, eight cylinders, 10 cylinders, on my Camry. Cylinders. I want them all.” And really the only thing we care about is: how much gas do I have to put in it for how far will I go? That’s all we care – If I put a gallon of gas in this car, how far will it go? All we really care about is the input and the output! That’s all we care about! If you look at every engine, it’s rated on torque, or horsepower, or cubic inches, or whatever. And all we really care about is: if I give it a gallon of gas, do I go 20 miles, 22 miles, 30 miles, 87 miles? How far? How much do I get out of it that? Over and over again, what we’re really concerned about is the input and the output.

And what I want you to look at your soul: is that your soul is giving you everything that it’s got. It is giving you your best life. And the question that I have for you tonight is: Are you feeding it? Are you filling it up on a regular basis, so it can be the best version of you? Because if you’re running around empty, is your soul expanding or contracting? So, if you’re running around empty, is your soul expanding through life? No. If you’re running around empty, your soul actually contracts to the point of emptiness.

And, over and over again, what I want you to see is just how much more there is available to you, if you’re willing to download it. But when it’s not a priority – when the only priority we have is how are we can push the accelerator in our life? And how much can we do and how much can we go? And how much can we make things happen, and how busy can we be? And how many of our to-do list things can we knock off this day and this hour, and this minute? When the full focus of our life is on output, we really miss the balance that we have to also be about input. But then when we talk about prayer too much, people are like, “Yeah, yeah, yeah.” Right? It’s like, “Yeah, yeah, yeah. Give me something else.”

And it’s like, over and over again, our input and our output really are the things that make up our life.

So, if you had to guess right now on a scale of 1-10, how full are you? “Richard, I don’t know.” Well, you’re the only one who can. And if you don’t know, that’s really a problem! And if you had to guess how full your soul is – you just guess – what number would you pick?” Are you at a 2,3,4? Or a 7,8,9?

Because if you’re living at a 7,8,9, your soul is always in the process of expansion. If you’re living in a 2,3,4 – if you’re just trying to get through the day – you run out of gas spiritually and emotionally. If you’re running out of gas – over and over again, if you notice that you’re cranky about everything – I guarantee that you’re more like a 2,3,4. And that, over and over again, what I want you to do is – every day – is that your most important thing – the first thing, the most important thing every day – is to get yourself full.

And what would it look like if you actually went through the whole day full? “Well, I only do that when I’m on vacation.”

[Congregation laughs]

Right? “And I only do that about the 7th or the 8th day of vacation. The first three days I’m just doing crisis management – trying to get myself filled up again.” Right? And so, over and over again, what I want you to just realize is that your soul has the right to be full. “I have the right to be full.” Will you say that with me?

[With congregation]: “I have the right to be full.”

One more time like you actually mean it:

[With congregation]: “I have the right to be full.”

Because if God is infinite, is there more than enough in the Universe to fill up your soul? Yes!

Now, if you’re too busy to do it – or if it’s not important to you, or if you’re not valuable enough, if you think that deserve that time or attention – then you don’t have to do it. But what I want you to see is that there’s no lack of any good thing in the Universe. And as you open your mind, your heart, your soul to download more God than you usually do, that you can actually live from this place of fullness! And that you can actually move the qualities of your life higher, because you’re now actually full enough to get to the point where you can get through the day without a Diet Coke. I’m hoping and I’m praying. Right? Over and over again.

Luke 6:38: “Give and it will be given unto you. Good measure pressed down, shaken together, running over will be poured into your lap. For the measure you use, it will be the measure that you receive.”

If you go to 37 and 39, I’ll read it again: “Do not judge and you will not be judged. Do not condemn and you will not be condemned. Forgive and you will be forgiven. Forgive and it will be given unto you. Good measure pressed down, shaken together, running over will poured into your lap. For the measure you use will be the measure that will be given back to you. And Jesus said to them in the parable, ‘Can a blind man lead a blind man? Or will they both fall into a pit?’”


So, what does this mean? It means that we have this infinite access to the glory of God – the goodness of God. But over and over again, filling ourselves and making sure we’re living full – as that becomes a higher priority… And actually becoming conscious from moment to moment to moment, to actually know when we’re empty. When we need to go away. Because…

Oh, there’s this great line. Luke 5: “But now, more than ever, the word about Jesus had spread abroad. And many crowds had gathered to hear him and to be cured of their diseases. But he would withdraw to a desert place and pray.” Time management 101 right here. Right? Sharpen your own saw, right?

So, over and over again, what I want you to see is: as Jesus’ ministry got bigger – as the work that he was doing in the world got bigger – he took more and more time to go away and pray. To get filled up so that he could be full to do the work that he was given to do. Right? Does everybody see that?

 And what I want you to see is: if you want to play a bigger game – if you want to increase the output of your life – you also have to be willing to increase the input in your life. Or you’re going to run out of gas! You’re going to burn out, you’re going to be angry, disappointed, frustrated. And you’re going to think, “This whole spiritual thing – it doesn’t work!” But the reality is that you’ve got to turn to God first! Get so filled – get filled to overflowing – so that you can actually play a bigger game than you’ve ever played before.

If I gave you two identical cars: ’73 Pinto Wagon.

[Congregation laughs]

Okay? Cream! Just vintage; just perfect. One’s orange and one’s that brown. Remember the ’73 brown? You had the ’73 brown? Great. Alright. ’73 Ford Pinto. One has one gallon of gas; one has a full tank. Both have been completely restored. Just like they came right off the showroom, Ford’s best. Right?

What is the only difference – other than the fact that one is orange and one is brown – what is the only difference? If one’s got one gallon of gas and one’s got a full tank… What is the only difference between those two cars? How far they can go! Well, mine had shag carpet in the back.

[Congregation and Rev. Rogers laugh]

Right? The only difference between those two cars is how far they can go! The only difference between you and a greater version of you is that – when you’re full – you can do more good. You can be a greater blessing! You can live a greater life! You can know more peace, joy, and abundance, because you’re full! And when you’re running low – when you’re empty, when you’ve burned out – you’re usually no good to yourself or anyone else. And the only reason that you got burned out is that you didn’t take time every day to get filled! And you didn’t want to become conscious when you know that you went below three quarters of a tank.  Is that true?

How many of you remember a time in your life where you only put three dollars in your gas tank? Hopefully, that time was before it was more than is was more than a gallon of gas, right? For three dollars, you maybe got six gallons, eight gallons of gas. You got some gas for three dollars, right? But there was a point – hopefully, as we continue to mature – where it was just easier to fill up the tank than it was driving from gas station to gas station.


And when we are in crisis management, when we’re going from one traumatic, dramatic experience to the next – when we’re just moving trying to survive the day – that’s all we’re doing. We’re only putting enough energy, enough love, enough presence of God in our soul for that experience. And we’re just getting through that moment, but we’re not living full.

“I choose to live full.” Will you say that with me?

[With congregation]: “I choose to live full.”

So last month, I counted. Some of you know that I’ve been doing Sunday mornings up in Prescott. Over the last month, I’ve done eight Sunday services (two a Sunday), four Wednesday services. I’ve done eight classes, a workshop, and four memorials. The last memorial I did – a week ago Saturday – was for my favorite uncle. It was in California, and I had to – because of the time of the memorial – I had to drive over there and drive back to get back for Sunday morning in Prescott. And it snowed and rained most of the way.

So, what I have come to understand through this last five-month experiment, is that: if I’m going to give at the level that I’m giving in my life, I have to increase my prayer life. I literally have had to double my prayer life.

And so, tonight, I know what I’m talking about. Like some weeks, I know I’m blowing smoke.

[Congregation laughs]

Do you know that expression? You know some weeks, “This works, right? It seems like a spiritual principle.”  But this week, I am living this, and my life depends on it. Does that make sense? That if I’m not staying full, I cannot afford right now to run out of gas. I have another workshop this weekend! I cannot run out of gas.

Over and over again, I’m having to make sure that, every day, I’m full, so that I can live the best version of me. And what I want you to see in your own life is that, until you get that serious – until you believe that you’re that important, until you value yourself that much, until you really believe that you’re a child of God and that all the good that God is available to you – and you make your life and yourself a priority, you will never make sure that you’re full. Everything else and everybody else will become more important. But the moment you decide that you’re the most important thing in your life, you’re actually going to put your time into prayer and meditation and the things that fill you up so that you can live your life in the greatest possible way.

So, how do we get filled up? How many want to vote that prayer, I believe, is the number one way? That prayer and meditation is the number one way to get filled up? Okay, great. So, can we all agree about that, right?

How about nature? How many of you are having regular experiences in nature that fill you up? I mean, in Arizona, we’ve got plenty of places close by where you can go for a hike. You can go spend 20 minute, an hour, two hours, whatever. Go for a hike and get filled up in nature.

How many of you have a friend or a loved one that even just a few minutes on the phone with them fills you up? Now I want you to be able to discern the difference between the people that you pick up the phone and in five minutes they can suck the life force right out of your ear!

[Congregation laughs]

That’s not what I’m talking about, right? We all have people like that, right? Where it’s, like, in two minutes on the phone, like they can just suck out like a whole day’s worth of spiritual food? That’s just sucked right out of you? That doesn’t count. You hang up quickly. “Thank you very much; I’ve got to go back and pray now?” Right?

[Congregation laughs]

But you’ve got to have people in your life that love you so much that your connection, your spirit and their spirit – that just being in their presence even if it’s over the phone – takes you to a higher ground. That you just feel better. Like music, and beauty. I mean, that’s fabulous. It fills us up!

Over and over again, what I want you to see are: there things that are available to you that do fill you up. Walking. How many of you, when in the presence of water – showers, baths, swimming – it just fills you up? It rinses off all the old energy and it just fills you up? Over and over again, what I want you to see is that, every day, your number one job is to get full. It’s to get full and stay full. Your job every day: get full; stay full.

So, what does that require? It requires that you actually become conscious about your own needs, and make your needs a priority in your life. And that you actually believe that you can download enough spiritual energy from God so that you can live full. That it changes and puts the priority in life from just living a human existence to actually living a spiritual life, where every day we’d go to God and we’d get filled up so that we can feel the difference when we’re full.

So, every day I want you to give yourself… Are you ready for your homework? So, every day what I want you to do is: I want you to just look at your gas gauge on your soul. And I want you to ask yourself the question: “Where am I? How full am I today? Am I at 1 or am I at 10 or am I at 3,4,5?” Where are you? And I want you just to become conscious of where you are every day on your internal sense of being full.

And if you’re a 7,8,9, you’re doing a great job. If you’re a 3,4,5, you’ve got work to do that day. That before you try to go be amazing in the world and give to everybody else, if you’re showing up as a 3,4,5, you need to go sit somewhere. Or go for a walk, or go for a swim. Or listen to good music to get yourself full. Go to church. Go online listen to something inspiring that Richard Maraj has said recently. Right? Get yourself filled up.

Because, over and over again, what I want you to see is that you can’t elevate your life from a 2. Does that make sense to everybody? You can’t live a bigger, greater, finer, more wonderful life if you’re living at a 4. You just can’t do it! You can do it for a little bit, but then you get burned out. You get discouraged and you want to give up. If you really want to live a greater life – if you really want to live the best version of you – you’ve got to show up every day full, full, full, and live from that place.

And for some of us, it’s really going to be a priority change. Because we’ve put everything else as a priority, and we’ve put ourselves last. And, tonight, what if you decide that – for the next seven days – you’re going to make sure you’re a 7 or better? I’m not even talking about an 8,9,10 – I’ll take it! – but a 7 or better. What if your 7 becomes your new empty? That you lived from a 7 so much of the time now, that when you get to 7 you stop? You don’t wait until you get to a 2 or 3. That you’re living your life from 7 or better so that your soul is always full. Are you ready? Does this make sense? Are you willing to try? Seven or better.

Let’s pray:
I invite you to open your minds, your hearts, your soul to the activity of God that is right here, right now. And we are here to be full: to get full and stay full. To live full, to love full, to know our life full. That we are filled by the infinite goodness of God. So, tonight, we give thanks and we rejoice that there’s an infinite amount of good available to each and every one of us, and we choose this day to live it full. And so it is. Amen.

Copyright 2020 Unity of Phoenix Spiritual Center/Rev. Richard Rogers

Thank you to volunteer Hollie Nelson for transcribing this message.


Location and Contact Information

Unity of Phoenix Spiritual Center

1500 E Greenway Pkwy
Phoenix, AZ 85022
Phone: (602) 978-3200

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