It is not cool to burnout.
Recently I was talking with a friend who was telling me he has been diagnosed with adrenal fatigue. He is a very successful business leader and his body is saying “enough!” At the same time, the very things that resulted in success are resulting in him being noticed elsewhere….
“Come help us do this…. We could use your skills over here… We need you now.”
He is not the only one.
There are so many things pulling us in different directions and shouting for our attention. We feel we have to live up to the expectations of church, local community, family…. And of course the ‘benchmarks’ that we see on the cover of Inc. or Entrepreneur or Time Magazine.
I should be growing like Zuckerberg and giving like Gates and serving like Mother Theresa… and loving like Jesus.
It’s no wonder I don’t want to get out of bed!!!
How do I know and do ‘me’ really well?
Ultimately there is one person you will need to give account to for your life and that is Christ. He is not going to ask you why you were not more like Zuckerberg or Gates or Mother Theresa or…. He is going to ask you, “Why were you not more like YOU?”
One of the ways I learned is by doing a marathon. Crazy? Yep. But I’m a tactile, kinesthetic learner and I needed to DO something to learn something.
I needed to learn perseverance and focus:
– Stay in my lane
– Walking is ok
– Finishing strong is the goal
1. STAY IN YOUR LANE (FOCUS – PROTECT YOUR PRIORITIES – BE YOU)
I wanted to run a marathon because anyone can fake something short. I can pretend to be someone else for a short distance but over the full marathon the real me will come out.
If I tried to run like someone else at the start (those ‘real’ runners who bound off like gazelles over the horizon) I would burn out after a couple miles.
If I continually compare myself to you… or you… or you, I will be distracted from the best pace for me. I was designed for a purpose and have been trained for this event and I will run MY RACE, not yours!
Can you keep your current pace for the full distance? Where do you need to adjust?
Where are you trying to be someone else?
What are your priorities – your ‘big rocks’?
What would it take to fully embrace your own identity and develop your own skill?
2. WALKING IS OK (REST – KNOW THE SEASON – BE PRESENT)
Life is not a sprint people! It is ok to pause, enjoy the view, smell the roses. Be present.
(Note: if you are reading while still in bed, this is probably not for you. Get in the game!)
I understand that there are times that the pace is faster, or the conditions are challenging. There are seasons when you plant and seasons when you harvest.
There are also seasons when you wait. Wait for the seed to push through the ground. Wait for the plant to mature. Wait through the winter or the storm.
“Walking in your ways I wait for you.” See Isaiah 26:8
Waiting is ok. Walking is ok. Partnering with my season and timing is really important.
Actually, it’s stupid to expect or try to harvest when the crop is only half mature. That wastes everything and puts you back to the start.
Tony Stoltzfus wrote a book The Calling Journey. He helps identity times when nothing is working externally – so focus on the necessary internal growth. The opposite is also true – when everything is happening externally, results are springing up everywhere – then go with it.
Are you in a season where it’s time to walk for a while and catch your breath? If you are pushing so hard you can’t have a conversation, you are pushing too hard. Where could you re-examine your expectations and timing and be kind to yourself?
3. FINISH STRONG (PERSEVERANCE – FOCUS – PATIENCE)
Anyone can start strong; look good on the start line; go bounding off around the first couple of corners. What really matters is can I go the distance and finish strong?
History and the Bible is full of people who start great but end poorly. Hezekiah. Joash. David. Judas.
It’s finishing strong that really counts.
Pace yourself. Think long term.
Where are you experiencing delays that are actually a gift to build perseverance in you?
Where do you need to refresh focus?
And if you fall half way, get up and get going again. It’s not over until you are dead, so keep moving! Repent, learn, grow. Keep moving forward.
Yes I did succeed. I stayed in my lane and walked a bit and finished strong (although at the finish line my wife said I looked like she felt after having a baby). Will I do another marathon…. no. Hopefully I can keep my learning so I don’t need to!!!
If this has been a helpful reminder and encouragement for you, make sure you share it with someone you know and encourage one another on the journey.