I just submitted my third manuscript, The Sugar Baron’s Ring, to my editor. The temptation is to sit back and relax for a bit, take a breather, but if I do, I’ll fall behind. It’s time to start researching and plotting for the next series. The ideas are already spinning in my head, calling to be put to paper.
What’s the harm in relaxing for a bit?
Why not sit back and enjoy some rest? After all that work, isn’t it deserved? The Israelites were warned about lagging behind in Deuteronomy 25: 17-18, “Remember what the Amalekites did to you along the way when you came out of Egypt. When you were weary and worn out, they met you on your journey and attacked all who were lagging behind.”
It sounds good, but breaks have been to the downfall of many. I’ve run and co-led many church groups over the years, and I’ve learned to cringe when I hear someone say, “Let’s take a break.” It sounds like a great idea—a chance to regroup, reenergize, gain a fresh perspective—and those reasons are not wrong. However, what tends to happen is complacency creeps in, and the group never ends up regrouping. Plans fall to the wayside, while distractions keep us from our purpose.
But what about burnout?
It does happen. Burnout is a thing. I’ve experienced it, but it tends to happen when I take on all the weight and responsibility myself. It’s when I take my eyes off God’s purpose and start to impose my demands and expectations, that I spin myself into a frenzy and grow weary. 2 Corinthians 10:13 says, “We, on the other hand, will not boast beyond our proper limit, but [will keep] within the limits of our commission (territory, authority) which God has granted to us as a measure.” If we let God set the boundaries and our capacity, we won’t experience burnout. Right before Christmas, I had two deadlines, company coming, a book launch, the implantation of brand-new software systems at work, and still more Christmas shopping to do. When I thought about all I had to get done, I would freeze-up and panic instead of accomplishing anything. Yet, when I told myself, God always finds a way to get it all done, I relaxed, put my head down, and focused on finishing my next task. And you know what? God multiplied my time. He got it all done, and I had a great Christmas.
The view from the front is better than in the back.
When we lag behind, we not only risk getting picked off, it becomes harder to see God’s vision. But, if we keep the pace that God has set for us, our view doesn’t get blocked. There’s a lot more ahead of us to see. I’ll even go so far as to say that when we see the big picture, we won’t remember our weariness. We’ll easily keep the pace because we’ll want to get to the destination.
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