Thanksgiving week was a sweet refresh and reset for me. I was able to take the week off from work and visit with my family and friends back home. It was a sweet reminder of the importance of balance within my life.
While I was home, I took time to catch up with friends, go to the gym, and get a few productive tasks done, like early Christmas shopping, cleaning out my photos, and organizing some files on my computer. But I also took the time to just sit still. Read books. Watch tv. Go for walks. Rest and relax.
Sometimes resting does not come easy for me. I start thinking of all the tasks that “need” to be done. Or the things I “should” be doing. The groceries I need to get. The work that I have put off doing. Resting can turn into five minutes of calm then back to thirty minutes of errands to run and things to do.
I was reminded recently of the story of Mary and Martha in Luke 10:38-42
As Jesus and his disciples were on their way, he came to a village where a woman named Martha opened her home to him. She had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet listening to what he said. But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made. She came to him and asked, “Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!”
“Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “you are worried and upset about many things, but few things are needed — or indeed only one. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.”
I think we desire to be like Mary in this scene, but honestly, I can be a REAL Martha most of the time. I want to do the things. I want to be organized. I want to appear like I have it together. I want to get it all “done”.
But Jesus wants us to know that our worth, identity, and value do not come from our accomplishments or daily tasks that we complete. Our worth, identity, and value are found in Christ alone.
In the story, we see Jesus’ response to Martha. He lovingly speaks to Martha to help her understand that while her servant heart was valuable and important, her relationship with the Lord, knowing Him and being in His presence, needed to take first priority in her life. Our service must flow from a heart that is fully engaged with the Savior.
We can get distracted by all the tasks to complete or the noise around us. And if we aren’t careful of noticing it, we can enter burnout very quickly. You may know the saying, “You can’t pour from an empty cup?”
It is important to examine and evaluate HOW you are spending your time and WHO you are spending your time with. Relationships are tough, but God did not create us to be alone. He wants us in community, and He wants us surrounded by quality people who pour into each of us. Finding these people can be more of a challenge, but reaching out to someone you trust for help, a safe space, is a great place to start.
Being patient with wanting things to fall together into place is a challenge for me lately. However, God offers me so much grace, and His mercies are new every morning. I know that when I lean on Him, He will continue to guide me and direct my steps before me. I’ve already seen so much of how He has placed specific women in my life who comfort me, encourage me, and counsel me in such loving, Christ-centered ways. He’s allowed me to find clarity on my current circumstances and my spiritual health so that I can take the steps to get refilled and find rest in Him.
Seasons of life will come and go. Relationships and people will change over time. But our personal relationship with God is everlasting. It is the one thing we will always have in this life, and for believers, in the next. It is eternal, and it should be our main priority to pursue in life.
I pray that if you are in a season of burnout right now, that you can find the balance of pursuing your relationship with Christ and being obedient to the call He has placed on your life. I pray that if you are trying to find community, that God will put the right people in your life at the right time. I pray that He will strengthen you to have conversations with those who are open and understanding to you. I pray that He will give you clarity and peace on the next steps that you are about to take.