Burned Out

Burned out

Ecclesiastes 1:8 "All things are wearisome, more than one can say. The eye never has enough of seeing, nor the ear its fill of hearing." (NIV)

I wasn't quite there but I was close. My godly grandmother had warned me about having too many irons in the fire. I just wasn't listening.

My Type A personality often leads to trouble. I was young and pastoring my first church. Being a typical energetic young man, I wanted to move up the ladder which normally involved more education and more positions. So began my journey.

Reflecting on the list makes me weary. Working on a Master's Degree. Volunteering with literacy societies. Teaching four days a week. Directing the Sunday School department for our local church association. Helping a cousin with family history. Preaching three times a week. Administering church affairs. Visiting. Plus family time.

Revival was scheduled to begin Sunday. Early that morning I began bleeding and was rushed to the hospital. Diagnosis: a bleeding ulcer. Grandma was right. A week in the hospital and recuperation helped me reflect on priorities.

Solomon wrote about burn out. In his plight to have and do it all, he probably came extremely close to it if he didn't actually experience it. Having wealth and wisdom at his disposal allowed him to enjoy endeavors the average person can only dream about. But he paid a heavy price.

Life can be downright tiring as we make attempts to possess it all. But when we get "it" we aren't satisfied. John D. Rockefeller-American oil magnate and philanthropist, was once asked how much money is enough money. He replied, "Just a little bit more."

Trouble is, the little bit more philosophy can lead to burn out, physical problems, crime and family break up. While our nature is to be selfish, God can teach us contentment. We can't have it all no matter how diligently we try. Paul said if he had food and clothing he would be content (I Timothy 6:8). Seems like a good philosophy and one that would help us avoid burn out. Let what God gives you be enough.

Prayer: God, when we're tempted to run in many directions to fulfill selfish dreams, remind us of what's important so burn out won't be our destiny.

Martin Wiles mandmwiles@homesc.com
Harleyville, South Carolina, USA

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