Nuggets of Truth
Before I ever experienced jet lag, I heard people talk about it and thought they just meant they were really tired. Then I went to Europe the first time. I didn’t realize how tired I was upon my return until I almost face-planted in my lunch. I then realized jet lag was more than tired. This was beyond my control!
Burnout is much the same. There’s a dark recess of your mind that is the end of you. Burnout takes you to a tired that sleep doesn’t fix. I found that dark recess in my own mind when we were eight years into our church plant. I had become addicted to helping people. There’s no drug better than seeing someone’s heart change for the better. I’m hooked. I admit it.
There is this turning point, though, when in the business of helping people, you start taking in information only to pass it through to help others. You hear a great podcast or a cool quote, and you think of the perfect Instagram post, or you Facebook live the sermon so that new mom at home can see it. Before you know it, everything you take in gets passed through you to others, and nothing is getting snagged for YOU!
During this season of burnout, my husband, Jack and I, went on a 3-week sabbatical and attended a different church. The sermon that first Sunday seemed written just for me, but instantly I started the “pass-through” process. I was in the middle of thinking of ways I could minister from this sermon when God so sweetly spoke…maybe it’s just you, Sheila, who needs the ministry right now. He showed me how it was all right to let the pastor’s words resonate only to me. Tears filled my eyes as I allowed myself to soak it all in. I stopped the pass-through, and I snagged every nugget, taking notes as quickly as my thumbs could type.
So many of us in ministry want to see others succeed, so we get in this mindset of pass-through, which keeps us from retaining any wisdom meant to help us grow.
I challenge all my sisters to notice how often you enter “pass-through” mode. The next time you realize it, stop and think about what you’re hearing and how it can apply to YOUR life first, and you will be snagging the pass-through nuggets of truth, guarding yourself against burnout.