I preached on rest, rhythm and burnout this past weekend at church and thought I’d share some more thoughts on it this week for my blog readers. You can listen to my sermon here if you missed it.
All of us live in seasons. We don’t often think that way or talk in that way though. I think when we don’t, we make a huge error. Last December, I was doing a leadership coaching call with my coach and I was explaining the tiredness I was feeling. I explained it away that it was just a season and tried to move on. As a good coach, he pressed on it and asked, “How do I know this is a season and not a pattern?”
Here’s the difference. A season is something that ends. We all have busy days, weeks, months. Each profession has a busy season. Tax workers are busy in the spring. Teachers have a rhythm, the moving industry is busy in the summer. Pastors are busy in September, Christmas, January, Easter. Those are high points in the church year.
A pattern is when it becomes way of life.
Many people live with the illusion that they are searching for balance. What does balance even mean? How do you know if you’ve achieved it? Nowhere in Scripture are we told to live a balanced life. Instead, God shows the nation of Israel in the Old Testament a rhythm. Work and rest, stress and release is how it is put in one book. Our problem is that we don’t make allowances for the season we are in. When we come out of a busy season, we simply head right back into another busy season, we lack the restraint to slow down, to live in a slower season for a while. Sometimes it is out of necessity, other times it is out of sin and a desire to not slow down.
Since making some of the changes I’ve made in my life and I’ll share on Friday what those changes have been, one of them has been for Katie and I to be more aware of the season we are in.
For example, May of 2012 was a busy month. I was working on recording 3 sermon videos to be used in June, we had a lot of people into our house, a lot of meetings to get ready for our move as a church, finishing up school for the kids. We knew going into May that the goal of May was to make it to June when I was on my preaching break, we took some family vacation time.
The problem hits, when we are unaware of the season we are in. Two years ago, I would’ve moved out of the month of May and continued hitting on all cylinders.
What season are you in right now? Is it a busy season? What does rhythm look like in your family, the life stage that you are in right now? Rhythm will look different for someone who is single, someone with small kids or empty nesters. Stop shooting for balance and live in rhythm.