Recently it was a hot camera, likely caused by switching to a too-small purse. Alarm raced through me when I touched my purse and felt heat radiating through the material. A quick zip to examine the purse contents immediately revealed the problem– a glowing light – from the camera. How did that get turned on and how long had it been on? I am guessing the how was pressure as the purse was jammed, and the how long was obviously too long. The battery reserve I thought I had was used up.
Then my phone needed charging 2-3 times a day. When I used it for more than a few minutes it became warm, warmer, and too hot to touch. A visit to the phone store gave the diagnosis – the battery was dying – it had been made to last 2 years and I’d used it for five constantly increasing use! I could get a new battery for $80-$100 or put that money toward a new phone. Or I could cut back on the daily use so it would last a bit longer.
As frustrating and alarming as those events were, they were momentary and the camera and phone issues easily or swiftly remedied with little side effects.
What if, though, I relate those happenings to my body?
Any chance of too much pressure there? Am I heading for a potential burnout? Over-scheduling or cramming work or even too much ‘fun’ in too small a time-frame?
Or how about over-use, over-heating, or just plain exhaustion? But there is so much to do! And I DO thrive on being busy. I am unable to still my mind enough to nap during the day, and feel guilty if I am not constantly on the move.
I will never live long enough to get to all the places I want to go, to read all the books I want to read, to learn all I would like to learn, or to make, or complete all the projects I would like to try.
To survive my fun but hectic life I strive to do the last thing first. I found something interesting when I evaluated my methodology of last things first, Spiritually, Physically, Mentally and Emotionally.
Did you notice what I did? Three out of the four goals were self-reliant things that added pressure. Good things, and things that are good to have as part of my day, but not good first priorities.
Physically – am I sacrificing my health by not exercising, and/or not actually taking time out to eat properly, or to rest or relax?
Do I ever say no?
Mentally – am I entrapped by thinking every need is a call I must fulfill by myself? Can my goal list be broken down and simplified – or shared?
Emotionally – do I evaluate my emotions as a result of self-imposed dis-stress? Am I getting short-fused and worn out? Do I check if the emotions are reality (according to God’s Word) or just feelings from trying to control the other 3 areas of life?
Spiritually – do I leave time to return to the morning’s guidance and allow it to reflect on the rest of my day? Do I ask others to pray for me?
It is empowering to read how Jesus instructed his disciples to rest, and how he slipped away himself from the crowds to rest. Sure, I am committed to continue in my calling, but the only way I can do that in all 4 areas of life is to remain focused on Jesus, and to allow Him to guide my daily boundaries.
I don’t believe I thought of burnout before as disobedience. (Hebrews 4:11 Let us therefore strive to enter that rest, so that no one may fall by the same sort of disobedience.)
The single most important thing I learned on mission trips was brought back to mind by my phone and camera batteries: God is more interested in my relationship with Him – including taking care of myself – than with my ministry.
For I desire steadfast love and not sacrifice,
the knowledge of God rather than burnt offerings.