So, as Easter week draws to a close I have have the chance to visit with many of my “pastor” type friends that all had great days on Sunday. It seems that it was a glorious day all the way around. All the extra planning, advertising, recruiting of volunteers, additional services, etc. all paid off for just about every person I have talked to.
And then there is the other side of it all… Everyone has the “easter hangover.”
I hear lots of tired. I hear lots of empty. I hear lots of folks who need some more fuel to charge back up. And I can relate. I am in that boat this week as I try to put myself back into the grind of ministry that didn’t slow down just because I gave an extra effort.
So I have a few thoughts on how to get charged back up when you are at the end of your energy:
Sleep. Take an extra day off and sleep. I have a doctor friend that says to me over and over again - “We have to keep you healthy. And if you want to be healthy, you have to sleep.”
Eat well. And take a good multivitamin. So, 2015 has been officially dubbed the year of the diet for me. And there is an amazing journey going on in my own heart about what I eat and why. Here is one lesson I have learned… what I put into my body as food shows up in how quickly I recover and how long I can work.
Here is a motivator for me in regard to food… Let’s say that I know that I can work longer with more energy and feel better and more positive about my job and therefore I can be more of a blessing and better prepared to minister to the people that I serve. Oh wait, that is true.
So, if I choose not to do that, then I need to get up in front of my folks and let them know that I could have been a better pastor for them simply by what I eat, but I chose not to. I chose food over God’s people. There is a verse in the Bible about that. But enough of my personal journey.
Exercise often. When we get home and we are tired and don’t want to go to the gym, it is easy to justify not working out. Here is all I will say… the answer to being tired is actually forcing yourself to go work out. The more we don’t work out because we are tired, the more tired we will be. The routine of exercise will help with recovery time when we have big weeks like this.
Turn the phone off for two days. No calls, no games, no Facebook, no anything that a smartphone provides. The disengagement from technology is an amazing way to slow down enough to rest properly. There are a lot of articles coming out now about the negative affects of spending time on your phone before bed. Please hear what they have to say.
Sit and be quiet. The ability to allow your mind to disengage is critical to recovery. Not forever - but for a bit. You get to be the judge of how long you need, but take the chance to allow nothing to be the point. You may just be getting closer to the reason for Sabbath.
Find a way to talk with God. If that is writing, write. If that is talking, talk. If that is listening to music and worshipping, then worship. Find your way. Jesus went up on a mountainside to pray after long days that we would assume would need sleep to recover. Always remember that energy is a gift from God. And while we can and should do our part physically, there is a spiritual component that cannot be denied.
Take a minute to reflect on the “wins" of your life. When we are tired, the issues of our context get bigger. How does the old saying go??? - Tiredness makes cowards of us all. It is often not the situation itself that is so overwhelming. But rather it is the level of our energy to deal with it.
So, I LOVE hearing all the win stories from last weekend. And I love that God is still at work in a time when we don’t often hear about it. And I love that there are still faithful men and women that are following faithfully wherever God takes them. Please rest and recover so that when new workers rise up, we are adding - not replacing.