Tuesday, November 10, 2015

It's Ok To Be Tired

I'm forty-something years old. 
My mother birthed all of her children at home, so I live in the same town I was born in. I've travelled all over the world, but I've never lived anywhere besides Belleview, FL.
I've worked for only two bosses in my entire life. 
I've worked at my current job for twenty years. 
I've lived in the same house for twenty years.

While that sounds incredibly monotonous and boring, you'd have to live with me, attend my church, or follow me on social media to know my life is FAR from boring or monotonous. 

People view me as hyper, flighty, energetic, busy, adventurous, social, and a part of me is all of these things. But I'm rarely seen as, "tired." And I'm glad about that. I work hard to put and keep my BEST foot forward and visible. I loathe attention, pity, and drama. I absolutely refuse to be anybody's victim. When I am sick, or am dealing with trauma I want to be LEFT ALONE. My career keeps me in a highly visible place. I don't mind. My personality was created for such a role. But I know when I need solitude, and I've learned the health benefits of taking a break.

It's possible to take a break without quitting the job.

Thanks to our societies' media coverage of musicians and singers we all know how "weird" artists can be.
Guess what...
That's what I am.
By nature I'm a slightly bi-polar, emotional creature. And the very thing that has kept me from destroying myself IS the very thing that I sometimes feel is killing me; CONSTANCE.

To constantly work the same job, to constantly live in the same house, to constantly be in the same town, to constantly work out the same troubles.... This is maddening!

In these bad-seasons (and I've had MANY) my nature tells me that I'm suffocating. I can't tell you how often I've wanted to cut ties and RUN. I've had to ball-up and wait out intense panic attacks, overwhelming depression. When I tell you that you should be still, chill, and be patient; I'm not suggesting you do something I don't understand the weight of. 

It is EXHAUSTING being constant.

It's ok to be tired in your ministry. It's ok to be tired in your parenting. It's ok to be tired in your work. But it's never ok to give up. 

There is a true statement in our memes, and motivation books that says something like, "If you always do what you've always done, you'll always get what you've always gotten."

While this statement is true, it's neither a license to be immoral, or a magical wand allowing you to quit a necessary task. If you've discovered a new door, or new path, the slowest, most extreme of caution should be taken before setting foot there. The multitude of counsel must be engaged. If your personality is like mine and you find great excitement in exploration, you should invite and insist on trepidation to be a part of the scenario.

FEAR THE FLIGHT. If a person does not fear flight they are either suffering from a disease akin to Urbach-Weithe, or they've done so much flying they've gotten used to it. Likewise in life; if you've gotten comfortable with flying to greener pastures, you've been doing it too often. You should likely stop flying, and start growing roots. Start insisting that you stay and go through the seasons. If you've planted yourself by the rivers of living water, you'll come out of each season ready and able to handle the next. And only in this state will you FINALLY experience being the green others are attracted to.

A person shouldn't quit their job because they are sick of the lack of respect, or aren't being paid enough on the job. What they can do is start submitting resumes and applications for a different job while remaining constant in the current one.

A stale marriage shouldn't be escaped because there's no sparkle in the relationship. Remain constant in kindness while you seek ways to mend the relationship.

Children shouldn't be yanked from their school because there's a rift with a teacher, or another student. Attendance and rule-adherence should remain constant while professional conversations are hammered out.

Volunteers in ministry shouldn't chunk their service of edification because of aggravation in a department. Remain constant in your work for God while you communicate your frustrations to the proper source.

And never, never, never leave the church because someone has hurt you. Remain constant in attendance and volunteer.

I can give details into EVERY ONE of the scenarios above because I have faced and endured ALL of them. I'm not proud of how I handled them. But I can testify of having much more to show for my life than some others whom I've seen cut and run. I enjoy the benefits of multiple generations STILL working together in ministries because constancy was the one (and sometimes only) thing we held in common.

Because I've stayed constant to my same congregation, instead of fleeing to "greener pastures," I get to watch the beauty of grandmothers snuggle shoulder-to-shoulder to snap pictures of their grand babies. It's beautiful because I remember when they were in their thirties and suffered a painful rift. Their constancy allows them to share a present abundance of joy. My constancy allows me to witness it. Because I've chosen to be constant, I've beheld the miraculous love shared between the merciful. We're all still living peaceable lives together because we determined to remain constant.

So, you may be tired. That's ok. Just don't quit, leave, or burn bridges. Stick it out. You'll be glad you did.

PS: If you find yourself away from those you wished you'd remained constant to, say hi. That's an awesome first step. :)

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