There’s a dangerous sickness in our culture that is threatening to destroy us—body, mind, and soul. What is it? Burnout. It has a lot of different signs and symptoms. But one of the most common symptoms is fatigue.
Can you relate? Are you tired? Depleted? Worn out? If you’re struggling with burnout, it will also make you stop caring. Yes, that’s right! You’ll stop investing in what is important. And burnout leads to a bad decision-making process and—eventually—bad decisions.
Burnout is not something that God wants for you. What does burnout look like?
Sometimes, it takes the form of anxiety. When you struggle with burnout, your brain operates at about four times the speed as the state of mind in peace or relaxation. Your heart pounds, palms sweat, and you lie awake at night. Anxiety depletes your fuel; your energy gets burned out. As a result, you get depressed and wonder if you can even continue.
Other times, the pressure from real life creates it. You work long hours to support your family. There are always difficulties at work to deal with. You have no time to rest. When you are asked to do something, you always say yes because you don’t have healthy boundaries. By taking on more and more responsibilities, you don’t have any room to enjoy your life.
How do you solve this huge problem of burnout? In Eugene Peterson’s, The Message, Matthew 11:28-30, Jesus calls out to us:
“Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.”
You need a God-given rest. Stop living a life of burnout, and make room for rest in your schedule. The NIV describes it as, “rest for your souls.” A soul rest sounds good right about now, doesn’t it? It will teach you how to walk unhurriedly.
Even the Quakers looked at a rushed or hurried life not as an asset but as a sin. They believed that when you’re busy, you’re not leaving room for faith. In other words, you’re not leaving room for God.
When Jesus says, “Watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace“—that’s the key to overcoming burnout.
Grace is a rhythm in our life that God places there. He’s a caretaker. He is the Lover of our souls. He provides well as a Father—as a good father would for His children.
Your heartbeat tells you 115,000 to 125,000 times a day that God is working on your behalf. It has an unforced rhythm; a rhythm keeping you alive. You don’t have to do anything to make it pump; God has created it to pump on its own. In life, you can try to grip and control. Or, you can surrender to Jesus and learn to let go. You can learn to trust, follow His ways, and—ultimately—live more freely and more lightly.
God does not desire burnout; God does not desire you to feel overwhelmed. He desires you to find rest and restoration. He desires you to take a day off each week. It’s okay for you to take care of yourself. He desires you to experience wholeness, health, and living. And you don’t get that by just adding more to your schedule. If you’re experiencing burnout and want to live more freely and lightly, learn the unforced rhythms of grace. In other words, learn to let go.
How can you begin to let go? Take a look at your life and write down how you spend every hour of your day. Be ruthless about figuring out where all of your time goes. When you have a view of what is consuming your life, cut out anything that isn’t necessary or of value. Live your life on purpose rather than being driven by schedules, expectations, and things that do not reflect what you desire most in your life. You can do this by delegating tasks and learning to say no, creating time for the things you value and treasure. Then you will begin to rest and restore the life God intended you to live!
Are you feeling burned out? Do you need help setting boundaries or learning how to enjoy your life? Call us at 800-NEW-LIFE today. We want to be a source of encouragement and hope for you!