Leaders, I'd be disappointed if you were never tired. If you are passionate about what you do, you will pour yourself out to exhaustion. This is good! It's what we ought to be doing.
But if you plan is to pour yourself out, what's your plan to fill yourself back up?
We make our worst decisions when we are drained. The spirit feels desperate. The soul feels numb. The mind races for relief. The body gets restless and sometimes even sleepless when sleep is what you need the most. How do you fill yourself back up when you have drained yourself out completely?
My friend Eddie Capparucci says it is critical to learn how to "soothe yourself" in healthy ways. Find the things that refill you:
Physically. What makes your body feel rested? Hint: it may not be rest! A walk. Time in the garden. A day or two of eating the right things. Exercise. My chaplain assistant used to take me on long runs during a stressful time for us. He wasn't happy until I could wring out my shirt with sweat! It hurt a little, but felt great after recovery.
Emotionally. What makes you feel at home in your own skin? Maybe you like movies but feel embarrassed to take the time. A talk with your spouse or a friend.
Spiritually. Here we almost can't make choices without value judgments about our own choices. Be honest. How does God fill up your soul? Maybe it isn't a long dip into the Scriptures today. Maybe it's a walk with worship music on your playlist. Podcasts from other preachers. A trip to a conference with a room full of thousands singing praise. Time in a journal. Prayer. Be honest with yourself about how you open the spigots for the Lord to pour His Spirit into your life.
Psychologically. When we are drained down to the bottom of the well there is often some mud and gunk to deal with we thought was all covered over. Pay attention. Be gracious with yourself and understanding. Be quick to take big problems to a counselor who can help you get to the bottom and find health.
Some say we should never be so tired; we should never be so spent. But what kind of passionate devotion is that? You will pour yourself out if you care about what you are doing.
Is the plan to run on empty until you crash? Or will you make a plan to fill yourself back up so you can go at it again next week?
"But even if I am being poured out like a drink offering on the sacrifice and service coming from your faith, I am glad and rejoice with all of you." Philippians 2:17