Life is hectic in America. It shouldn’t be that way with technology putting all we need to survive right at our fingertips. We take pride in being tired from staying busy. Hustling.
It’s stupid and dangerous.
Stop Killing Yourself
I used an app called Welltory that measures physiological stress and energy levels. It’s an analyst’s dream. It can be a nightmarish wake-up call. My levels were horrible when I first started using it.
Granted I was in the middle of working twelve days in a row. The experience and the app’s measurements proved the wisdom of God’s fourth
commandment that Pastor Rod preached on.
“Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy. Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is a sabbath to the Lord your God. On it you shall not do any work, neither you, nor your son or daughter, nor your male or female servant, nor your animals, nor any foreigner residing in your towns. For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, but he rested on the seventh day. Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy.” Exodus 20:8-11
His first point, God intends for us to work. Well, I’m good there. 45+ hours a week. What about you?
Pastor Rod did add a caveat to keep the legalistic from helping others. Just because we’re to work doesn’t cancel out our responsibility to help others who are in need.
I’m doing good so far.
Second, set aside a day for God. Average church attendance is 1 out of every 3 weekends. How about you?
What about me?
I go to at least one service and try to make it to a class that I don’t teach. It doesn’t count if I teach there. Then there are Sunday nights if there is preaching or worship. Not including my quiet time throughout the week.
Last but not least, rest. We cannot do the first two without this one. I am not good at
this one at all.
In fact, I rarely get a full days rest. Every day either has work or ministry. Labor Day I failed at resting. I did some chores and a little class work for next Sunday. I had to avoid my laptop because I knew if I got started on anything I wouldn’t quit.
Throughout the day I was taking measurements and being reminded I’m not back to normal yet. I have to tell myself that I am more than my work, my job, or the ministries that I’m involved in.
Ignoring rest leads to burnout. I have to keep this poorly-tuned ministry machine running. Since taking on a more significant role in Deaf Church, I’ve had to recalibrate a few times.
These blog posts are now twice a week. When a particular event comes around, I don’t volunteer as readily. Homeless Ministry was off for two months, and it felt like summer vacation.
Why the recalibration?
I have a greater role in the various ministries. We’re not as effective when we’re tired. This unhealthy stress leads to some silly mistakes.
In a week’s time, I had several goofs. For someone who’s more comfortable standing in front of a group than a year ago, I was clunky and absent-minded twice that week. Luckily, a friend and mentor was there to help with the forgetfulness on one occasion.
In another area, I wasn’t as thorough. I was too tired to put much effort into it, and it was noticeable. The first time I’ve been called on it in that ministry.
My sleep was poor. I couldn’t remember simple things like the proper way to use my debit card on multiple occasions. More than once I paused and searched my memory to make sure I was doing something right.
I was also sensitive and less forgiving. My well of patience and self-control was gone. Any that I had was the Holy Spirit at work in me as a counselor and comforter.
That two week period is an anomaly. It is also a lesson in why we need to rest. Once I’m back on track, I’m going to do all I can to stay there.
Stress can cause a lot of damage, including heart problems, and my family already has a history of that. I’m going to use the app to check my health, find what recharges me, what burns me out, and if I need to make some adjustments.
It’s like Pastor Rod said, “We’re human beings, not human doings.” Take time just to be.