As you probably know, we recently hosted a missions team from Southeastern University here in Cape Town. The group was absolutely incredible, but by the end of their trip, my body was physically exhausted. I was worn out.
Thanks to my mentors, Randy and Betsy Garmon, I've discovered that when I'm in a busy and "pressurized" moment/season in life, I excel at feeding my spiritual being through God's Word and prayer. But I fail miserably at tending to my physical body through proper rest and diet. The outcome is often me in bed — either my own or a hospital's.
Toward the end of Team SEU's trip, my pancreas started packing up. The feeling was similar to what I experienced back in January when I was sentenced to six days in the hospital. I don't know about you, but when my body doesn't function like I know it should, it really gets me down. I shut down to those around me and stoop into a pit of self-absorption.
After the team left, I checked out of life for a few days. Honestly, I started coasting along rather aimlessly. My focus was on what's easy — the surf forecast, social media, and the like. For a few days, I was an empty, tired, shell of a person. I'd been operating in my own strength, which always squeezes my deepest weaknesses to the surface. Rudeness, irritability, forgetfulness, arguing, pride, self-centeredness. The list can go on and on.
Then last week, my friend Adam reminded me of something. "Bru, you're just a man. This is completely normal, and it's going to be OK." He shared from personal experience then lent me a listening ear. Thanks to him, I've been able to process my "mini meltdown," and here are five things I learned that'll, by the grace of God, help me (and maybe you too) better deal with being busy:
1. Practice self-awareness.
Get real with God, and get real with yourself. Ask yourself how you're really doing. Talk to God about it, and then, do the thing He's telling you to.
2. Communicate with a trusted friend.
I'm so thankful to be surrounded by a few key people who help me stay in line with God's call on my life. These are men who allow me to be my fragile self and who call me up after I've fallen. Share with someone who is for you and who will guide you in the ways of the Lord.
3. Practice a Sabbath day.
There's a constant theme of rest throughout the Bible. On the seventh day, God rested — and not because He was tired. I believe He rested to enjoy and to stress the importance of simply being. He knew rest would be a huge struggle for mankind. I mean, really, how often do we truly stop and just trust that the world will continue spinning regardless?
4. Do something that refills your soul, but not to the point of further exhaustion.
I'm extremely passionate about surfing and often find peace and clarity when floating in the ocean. But, surfing like I did last Tuesday (for almost four hours in a strong rip current) is no one's idea of rest and replenishment of the soul. Trust me, that was a bad idea.
5. Know your limits and build margin in your life.
Carey Nieuwhof shared in this blog about how he's learned to closely monitor balance in his own life. If you share in my struggle to maintain physical "restedness," I recommend giving it a read.
These points were derived from fresh revelation and current personal battles. If you're going through a similar season, please share in Adam's word of comfort. "You're just a man or woman. This is completely normal, and it's going to be OK." Growth and change take time, but you can start somewhere... perhaps one of these five things resonates with you. If so, feel free to shoot me a message! I'd love to hear your story.