“Why, I feel all thin, sort of stretched, if you know what I mean: like butter that has been scraped over too much bread. That can't be right. I need a change, or something.” –Bilbo Baggins, the Fellowship of the Ring
That can’t be right. I need a change, or something.
I’ve often felt like Bilbo sitting across the table from a friend over a hot cup of coffee. Sharing my life, telling my story, and feeling like I’m spread just a bit too much—like butter that has been scraped over too much bread.
I need a change, or something.
How many times in your life have you felt like you’ve said “yes” more than you’ve said “no”?
Do you find yourself feeling on the verge of “burnout” far too often?
Do you often find yourself asking, “How do I continue to give without becoming empty myself?”
I often do.
It’s natural to feel like we’re overextended. One of our first commands in the Bible was to take charge and work. Many times over in scripture we are told the importance and value of work. I don’t think we have a problem understanding that. We’re all very good at getting the job done. I’m willing to bet, though, that many of us struggle with the idea of rest—or sabbath.
Hitting pause is just as important as hitting play.
Rest helps us to recover and refocus on what is important. It realigns us with the one who called us to do good work in the beginning. Burnout is often the result of self-reliance. When I can do it all, I will likely find myself on the verge of burnout. As much as we are called to work, we are also called to rest and refill.
“Be still and know that I am God” [Ps. 46:10]
“Come with me by yourself to a quiet place and get some rest” [Mk. 6:31]
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” [Mt. 11: 28-30]
Think about being on a plane during an emergency. When the oxygen masks drop down, we are told to put on our own mask first before helping others—why? Because we're useless to everyone if we cannot get oxygen into our own lungs. The same goes for us as leaders. We cannot care for others if we are not caring for ourselves. We cannot keep pouring out for others without being poured into. The limits we place on ourselves are the limits we place on those that follow us.
I’ve heard the saying “We are not human doings, we are human beings.”
Today, I challenge you to hit pause with no agenda. Just be. Sit on a park bench with a cup of coffee and listen for God’s voice. Take a car ride with God. Sit at a diner and write in a journal imaging God sitting in the booth right beside you. Just you and God doing anything that has to do with you not working. Find whatever it is that will bring you the rest you need. This is how you can continue to give without getting empty.
Perhaps this can be the time to make things right—to make your change.