Do you ever struggle to get out of bed, drag your feet through the day at work, feeling that you are not achieving anything and suspecting that everyone is against you? When you finally get home you have no energy to give to your family? Then, to top it off, you go to bed early, wake half a dozen times during the night and repeat the day before! As I talk to people each day it seems that there are more and more people who live like that! Do you ever ask yourself questions like “How did I get here?” and “why don’t I have the energy I used to have?” I sometimes think that it is just that I’m getting old, but I was encouraged by the following quote from John Maxwell, who described the simple
“ABC’s of energy drain:
Activity without direction
Burden without action, and
Conflict without resolution.”
Does that apply to your life and work? I have to admit that as I reviewed the last couple of weeks I noticed that I have been very busy but on closer re-examination I realised that many of those things were not leading me towards my long term goals. I think it was Mark Twain who said, “man is the only animal who, when lost runs faster”. Ouch! But how do I know where I should be going?
Every time I pause to reflect on that, there is someone telling me what I should think or feel, then asking me for a donation of time or money. The process is continually being fine tuned for effectiveness, to create a “burden” but there are so many needs, so many good causes that need help but with my limited resources I can’t support ALL of them! I may make suggestions to others, blame the media, the government or my boss but I have to admit that even knowing all that needs to be done I have taken no positive action and feel guilty. All too often we are content to give it a label like “compassion fatigue” and think that absolves us of action but we are only kidding ourselves.
Part of my role is to be an intercessor and seek to bring together people in conflict, whether that is in family relationships, work environment or on a macro level with systemic issues like the DP and the posting cycle! I can tell you that there is nothing as frustrating as investing hours into helping people talk about a conflict yet seeing NO resolution!
No wonder I lack energy! I am doing things that don’t really matter, while feeling guilty about not being able to do things that matter and cannot even find out what’s the matter! Been there? What are we going to do about it? Martin Luther King Jr. put it like this:
“Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.”
What matters to me? One passage in the Bible puts it like this “The Lord has already told you what is good, and this is what he requires: to do what is right, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God” (Micah 6:8). This is the basis of my personal goals and direction! If that IS where I am going, and what I am doing I will be re-energised and able to make a difference in the things that matter. What matters to you?
Padre Ian Whitley
I S Whitley AM