On Empty

I have this little hiccup in my wiring that likes to convince me that things that rejuvenate me (reading, studying, laughing, fun) are only to be enjoyed when I have accomplished everything that needs to be done.

The problem? Yep, you guessed it.  Everything that needs to be done never really gets done.

Week after week I find myself in this vicious cycle.  I think when I get x, y & z done today I’ll read this book I’ve been dieing to read.  Or when I accomplish 1, 2, 3 then I’ll be relaxed and I can hang out and have a great night with friends and family.

Nope.  It’s never all done and as a result I rarely rejuvenate and even more rarely do I rejuvenate without a nagging feeling of guilt for not doing the things “I should be doing.”

I don’t know how this monster arrived on the scene.  He’s been around for as long as I can remember.

And the challenge that continues to grow for me day after day is that I have nothing to give when I’m empty.

When I’m on empty…

I can’t lead the way I want to lead.

I can’t write the things I want to write.

I can’t dream the dreams that God has for me to dream.

I can’t spend intentional time encouraging someone.

I can’t prepare the talk or plan for the meeting.

Empty is not ok.  In fact, empty is not even God’s design.

I know in my head the importance of sabbath.  I believe that God designed it and commanded it, but I can’t seem to honor it.

Because we do not rest we lose our way… Poisoned by the hypnotic belief that good things come only through unceasing determination and tireless effort, we can never truly rest.  And for want of rest our lives are in danger.   Wayne Muller

Let that sink in for a moment.

Are you running on empty?

Do you need rest?

Let me remind you of a scripture that I know so well that sometimes I don’t even really hear it anymore:

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.  Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.  For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” Matthew 11:28-30

Did you catch that the first part requires action from us?  In order to receive the rest of God, we have to take the step to come to Him.

Can you put down all your busyness… let go of the “to do” list… and simply come to Him and rest?

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  • Butch Simmons September 16, 2010  

    Jenni… that is resonating so much in my life right now. No one can do this for us we have to be the one to take the step on our own.
    If we do not allow God to pour into us, what fools we are to ignore such a great offer?
    We will be SO much better in ALL areas if we get that balance right!
    Thanks for the reminder.
    God's Peace

  • Amanda_Sims September 16, 2010  

    That is exactly where I am today. Thanks for the reminder, Jenni. I "know" it but I don't KNOW it…you know?

  • Kendra Grubinski September 16, 2010  

    Yes! I know the feeling!!! Hoping to let REST take over tomorrow on our 'day off' even though I know a LOT of things that do need done… And GOODBYE GUILT… Satan's little cousin when BUSY-NESS doesn't do its trick. Sneaky little fella'.

  • Sherie September 16, 2010  

    Glad to know I am not the only one with that hiccup. = )
    I've been struggling lately with the collision of scripture and culture, one where my understanding and faith have been blown apart and my heart is shattered (in good ways). In the midst of that it has been hard to come, to rest, to receive because I fear the collision will grow. I am finding I am not only not resting, but actually hiding.

    Thanks for a good and direct word!

  • Jessica September 16, 2010  

    I can but I think that when my ADD kicks in. 🙂 I think this comes from how we grew up…. Remember we could nt do anything "FUN" till the dishes were done kitchen cleaned, everything dusted …. BLAH BLAH BLAH!

    You need to learn to walk away some times. 🙂 It will still be there when you go back to hit.

  • mandythompson September 18, 2010  

    I get this. oh I get this