See if this picture sounds familiar. Your life, as it were, is a building held up by a few main pillars. These pillars are the main roles that you play in life, whether it be family, school, work, church, ministry, etc. There are times when everything is going well, the earth is stable, and you can afford to coast through your days. But if you’re like me, you wish that these pillars are firmly planted or super glued to the ground so that you don’t have to keep working to make them stand still.
Ever felt like you’re doing mental acrobatics? The pillars are swaying, each of your hand is holding a pillar, maybe one is leaning against your body, one foot stabilizing another, and the other foot on the ground. You can’t move. Because if you do, something’s going to fall, so you keep your balance ever so precariously. Or, you’re constantly running from pillar to pillar to keep them standing still, but when you let go of one, another is swaying. You run to that one, another one sways. Once you get to the end, the first one is moving again. And on and on and on… Been there?
I crack myself up every time I think of these mental images.
These scenarios are perfect recipes for burning out. You can even get burned out doing the things that you love, and out of all the good things you can do out there, the worst kind is getting burned out from ministry.
In my life, these pillars translate to, in alphabetical order, ANEW, campus ministry, family, friends, personal development, research, and Think Tank, all of which I absolutely love and don’t want to give up. Although on a day to day basis I mostly operate with the “something’s gotta give” paradigm, I still am a firm believer that you can do everything right. If everything is going right work-wise, most likely I’m not eating right, behind in laundry, haven’t done groceries in a while, etc. These are the easiest to “give.”
In fact, just until yesterday, I had no replacement for my two pairs of walking shoes, one’s 8 years old and the other’s 5 years old, that are falling apart. True story. I wear them almost everyday because they’re so comfortable, and why should I buy more? I mean, shoes are supposed to last forever right? Never thought the day would come when their soles would be torn and part of it is getting detached. Up until yesterday I was actually praying that God would keep them from falling apart, kinda like how He kept the soles of the Israelites for 40 years in the wilderness. I honestly didn’t have the time to go to the store.
But, as I said, I have not given up hope that one can do everything right, especially when God has called him/her to each area that he/she has in his/her life. Hence, I want to decode the problem and see if something can be done to remediate it. I’m really brainstorming for myself here, but also for my fellow laborers in Christ. So, I think I’m going to start a series of posts on time management, things I’ve experimented with, things I’ve failed miserably at, basically, just sharing my notes. Hopefully, someone else doesn’t have to go through the experiment again.
“And the angel of the LORD appeared unto him [Moses] in a flame of fire out of the midst of a bush: and he looked, and, behold, the bush burned with fire, and the bush was not consumed.” Exodus 3:2