Running, Resting, and (trying to avoid) Burning Out pt. 3 – Conclusion

Posted: 05/17/2012 in Children's Ministry, Family Ministry, Lessons Learned, Pastor(ing), Youth Ministry

Here are parts 1 and 2 of this series to catch you up.

So I ran too hard, for too long, without really resting and last February ended up in the hospital with what ended up being panic/anxiety attack.  I was more focused on my  ever increasing “to-do list” (which I was falling farther and farther behind on).

Part 1 of this series taught me that I can be more productive by using schedules and being willing to delegate. Part 2 continues to remind the “doer” in me to rest in the completed work of Christ on the cross for results.

Now on to the hard part, at least for me …

Avoiding Burnout

As I’ve said, I’m a doer. I am wired to do, do, do, until I can’t do anymore. Over the past 2 years of working 60+ hours a week, I’ve done a lot of doing.  Feburary taught me that all I was doing, by my doing, was burning myself out. While I have the passion and desire to do great things for God, I lack the will and the strength.  I was trying to do it on my own.

Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm. Stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and, as shoes for your feet, having put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace. In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one; and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God, praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints, and also for me, that words may be given to me in opening my mouth boldly to proclaim the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in chains, that I may declare it boldly, as I ought to speak.
(Ephesians 6:10-20 ESV)

 What I wasn’t doing

1`. I wasn’t “… being strong in the Lord and the strength of His might.”  I was constantly trying to get things done in my own weak and pathetic strength. As I child of God I have access to this strength but rarely used it. My pride kept telling me, “I got this.” While I was spending time in the Word and in prayer, looking back, it wasn’t enough. Both need to be increasing, especially prayer (which is a weak point for my undiagonsed ADD).

2. I wasn’t armored up. (See what I did there, that’s an Iron Man reference … comic book geekery still representing). My focus was on tasks and the problems people were bringing to me, not on the enemy. Not on the one who whispered lies to me about how important these tasks are and ultimately the author of people’s problems. Because I wasn’t protecting myself from these assaults, I became vulnerable to trying to use my own strength and wisdom to get things done.

3. I wasn’t standing … I was running. I wasn’t standing in the midst of battle with the only weapons I had (Word and prayer) I was running to “do” and to “fix”.  This running is much like spinning our wheels; it may look and sound good, but ultimately gets us no where.

What I am doing now

1. I am praying more. I am spending much more time in prayer throughout the day. Even with my ADD I can still shoot up 1 or 2 sentence prayers as the Holy Spirit brings them to mind. I have to remind myself that prayer isn’t an event to participate in, but a lifestyle to embrace.  These prayers are focused on expanding God’s glory and victory over sin. I’m praying for all types of situations, not just those that effect me or my church directly.

2. I am looking to God for strength. Some of those prayers are asking for both God’s strength and wisdom. I know I’m weak. I know I need help.

3. Standing – I standing in the midst of the battles God has placed me in, waiting on Him to give me what I need to be successful for His glory (not mine).

I know this has been a lot about me. My prayer is that by sharing it, God can help others avoid my mistakes.

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