Why do we let ourselves run so ragged? I mean think about it…why do we let ourselves become so depleted? No one is forcing us to chair that fundraiser. If we have kids, no one is asking us sign them up for yet another extra curricular…except perhaps the kids themselves. So why do we do it? Surely we have the capacity to take on or not take on the vast majority of activities which vie for our time and money. Yet, here we are.
Running on empty is clearly not God’s intention for us. He could never want this lifestyle of perpetual exhaustion and restlessness for us, His children whom He delights so much in.
So again I ask, “Why do we let this happen?” Do we think we know better than God does when it comes to what’s best?
Over recent weeks I have had different versions of the same conversation with various friends. These conversations are what prompted me to address the topics we are covering over the next few weeks together. “I just don’t know how to say, ‘No’,” said one. “I don’t even know myself anymore,” said another.
In fact, we know from David that our Almighty Father desires the complete opposite of this for us:
Be Still and Know I am God.Psalm 46:10a
Be Still. This is not just a mere suggestion. It’s an imperative straight from the Lord, calling upon us to take up stillness as a part of our very being. This is more than acting still or desiring to be still, or thinking about being still. It’s actually a state of being. A state of being still. But how do we get there?
I don’t pretend to know all the answers, or even a fraction of the answers. However, I do know what it is like to experience burnout and have nothing left for the people I should have the most for. I know what it’s like just going through the motions, too worn and defeated to even know I was worn and defeated. I know what its like giving God my leftover time and energy, if anything at all, and not my very best.
I know what it’s like to try and remedy this imbalance on my own.
Once I got clued in that my body was keeping the score, I knew some changes were in order. I read the books. I did the things (think yoga, breathwork, and other practices). None of these are bad things! In many ways, they are quite helpful, especially when they promote self-healing. However, they won’t sustain us, and they shouldn’t be done apart from a larger framework defined and ordained by God.
I also do not pretend to live the most balanced life at all times. Nonetheless, by the grace of God, I also know what it’s like to surrender a worn-out body and mind to Him. This allowed Him, not I, to re-prioritize how I spend my time and who I spend it with.
The Lord had a great deal of heart work to do within me (and he still does). That is not something anyone but God can do for you, and will only come from abiding in Him. That said, I also learned a lot along the path toward balanced living where the Lord is prioritized above all else. When doing so, believe it or not, I still had more than enough time and energy for anything which followed Him.
In 2021 I published a similar series, Be Still. I have taken that content and reimagined it, additionally applying what I’ve learned between then and now. Snippets of content may be the same, but I don’t know about you but I forget A LOT and need gentle reminders even more than I forget. So what about it, will you join me?
Over the next few weeks, let us seek out simplicity. We will explore priorities, commitments and boundaries so that we may be obedient in Being Still. We will see what God has to say about all this since our actions and thoughts must be grounded in Truth…His Truth…if they are to be sustained and done for His glory. In doing so we will be set free from what we were never intended to take on to begin with. Is there a bolder way to enter the new year than declaring that our time and priorities are His? Don’t be fooled! There’s boldness in the obedience and stillness.
Father God, Help me to slow down. I am tired of doing things my own way. Literally tired. Mentally tired. Spiritually tired. At times, I have nothing left for my family, myself or you. I know there must be another way. I know you desire me to be still. Can you help me with that, please? You are far wiser than I, and I seek to do your will!
In Jesus’ Holy and Precious Name,
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