Today’s readings (click below to open in new tab/window):
Psalms 93; 150, Exodus 3:1-12, Hebrews 12:18-29, Luke 10:17-24
Burnout is a reality of modern life. We can experience burnout at work, at church, and even with our family. When we become burned out, our motivation, dedication, and productivity all suffer. More than fatigue which saps our physical and emotional strength, burnout saps our spiritual strength. Exhaustion is the inability to go on; burnout is the unwillingness to.
In Exodus, Moses first encounters God when he notices a bush that is burning but is not consumed. From the flames, God speaks to Moses about how He plans to use this exiled Egyptian Jew to free the nation of Israel. In the decades that followed, Moses might have felt a lot like that bush. Igniting him to a higher purpose, the power and will of God infused him with a spiritual fire that led the people out of Egypt and through forty years in the desert, yet he was able to endure it all without being consumed. Sometimes an exhausted Moses might have wished for it all to be at an end, but God sustained him.
When we suspect we are beginning to burn out, it is time to reevaluate what we are doing. Is it really our job or family that is burning us out, or is it our attitude? If it’s the former, we can seek an external change. If it’s the latter, we must work on internal change. Either way, let’s consider one of the first things God said to Moses: “Remove the sandals from your feet, for the place on which you are standing is holy ground.” It’s not enough to simply stop what we’re doing. We need to find a way to make contact with the holy ground God would have us walk. We need to strip bare not just our feet, but our souls, emotions, fears, and desires until we hear God’s call again. Maybe he will start us on a new journey, or maybe he will fortify us for the next forty years.
Every place we stand is holy ground, if we are listening for the voice of God. Let us hear. Let us burn.
Comfort: When you are tired or unsure, bare yourself to God for renewal.
Challenge: Where in your life are you most subject to burnout? Work? School? Home? Pray about what you can do to transform your situation from an out of control wildfire to a burning bush.
Prayer: Ever loving God, grant me the wisdom to find the path you have laid out before me, and the strength to follow it faithfully. Amen.
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