The truth is that we only have 24 hours in a day, but we still have 24 hours. We live in a fast-paced, technologically advanced age. Even though Smartphones and Ipads are meant to add convenience, they often increase the expectations and demands we place on ourselves. We feel like because we can do things faster now that we should also increase our productivity. Soon we treat our bodies like the machines they aren’t instead of like the fascinating God-ordained creations they are. This is when we crash and burn.
If you are in a state of burn-out or if you are trying to prevent the burn-out you feel might be inevitable, here are two questions I really want to urge you to consider:
What am I doing that is life-giving?
What could I be doing less of to make space for what I really want to do?
First think about all the activities you are a part of that really feed your passions and your desires. Those are the things you definitely want to keep. You don’t see them as a burden, but as a blessing. Think about the people who give you energy, the kind of individuals that when you are done talking with them you think “wow, I’m so blessed to have a friend like that.” Those are the friends you need to keep. They are the friends who keep you well.
Now think about all the things in your life that are not life-giving. Maybe you are a chronic timewaster. I know I am. I constantly waste hours on Facebook. If I were to give up some of that mindless scrolling time, I would then have more time to do what I really want to do: to engage in face-to-face contact, to write, to sing, to pray and to reflect.
My challenge for you this week is to put an end to mind-numbing activities, but more than that, put an end to anything that is dragging you down. Anything that is causing you to stumble, to needlessly compare yourself to others, or to think of yourself as less than the wonderful creation God intends for you to be. Once you have located those areas, think about what you’d like to replace them with. Replace your anxiety and endless running with peace and stillness. Replace your cell phone addiction with healthy ways to use technology that actually enhance and enrich relationships. Replace fake friendships with real ones. A dead-end job with a life-giving career change. It won’t always be easy, but it will always be so worth it. Godspeed on your journey.