I was listening to some of the talks in the recent CNA Leadership Summit. There were interesting conversations and insights on mental health issues in the workplace. Another term, “burnt out” is commonly used to describe one’s state of exhaustion or extreme feelings of inability to meet up to the demands.
This is also encountered in the church environment. To be sure, we can’t quite separate spiritual from mental or physical feelings of burnt-out. We are whole persons. Pressures at work, at home or studies can affect other areas of our lives. Likewise, when we find ourselves enslaved to sinful habits, that will also affect our sense of joy and peace. This will spillover to other areas. Everything is interconnected.
As we climb out of a 2 year lockdown and slowdown, we should notice that life is becoming busier and busier. Lessons learnt and resolutions made during 2020 are quickly a thing of the past as life realities and work expectations catches up. Old habits die hard, as they say. Given our life culture in SG, some of us just can’t help it. We are burning our candles on both ends.
There are no easy solutions to this. But Isaiah declared in 40:31:
"but they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint."
There is an ancient classic solution. It is found in daily waiting, praying and coming before the Lord. I find this to be true in my own life too. Oh yes, I do have my many experiences of near burnt out or burnt-out experiences. I can’t even tell when it is “near” or when it is actually one. On every occasion, I can “smell the toast”, like the piece of bread in the toaster. It only take seconds from it becoming just right or burnt. Almost every time I have this “toastie” experiences, it has something to do with the lack of daily spiritual care. Yes, the daily quiet time, daily office or daily bread (or by whatever name) is non-negotiable.
Keep short account of your sins
Put a prayer check on an lingering anxiety
Pull back from a persistent negative thought that has no reality
Read again the wholesome promises and teaching of His Word
“And the things of earth will indeed grow strangely dim” as you realise how silly some of the daily distractions are
Let Him speak into your situation and see the true light of things
Renew your love for Him and joy
The list is long. But all these can only happen if you take seriously your daily communion with Him. Coming to weekend Services and hoping for a pow-wow experience is good. But that will not sustain you through the week.
Each of us need to know how to walk with God daily.