“I’m busy.” I don’t know if you have noticed, but recently these two little words seem to describe the state of everyone. There is not one conversation I have had with another person, where when I asked how their day was they did not respond back without the word “busy”. This is not to belittle their response, in fact I am positive they are busy. I too am very busy myself!
However, I don’t believe that we were destined to live a life with a jam-packed schedules. I don’t believe that we were meant for a life defined with the adjective “busy”. I don’t believe that we were created with a purpose that would leave us feeling overwhelmed, out of control and ultimately burned out. I believe we were made for something far more meaningful.
My guess is that if you are reading this right now, you are either feeling burned out, have felt burned out, or feel that you are close to being burned out. You probably feel like you can’t slow down the pace and that constant burnout is where you are going to camp out emotionally for the rest of your life. You are not alone in this feeling. We all feel this at some level, and I feel it too.
If you’re anything like me you have wondered how do we survive that overwhelming sense of burnout? I’m not a master of knowledge, nor do I have all the answers. But, over my time as a working young adult, where boundaries between work and personal life are still being defined, I have learned that when the inevitable burnout comes, there are a few truths that, if I cling to them, will help me get through to the other side quickly in one piece.
- You are in control of your schedule. Believe it or not, you have the power to decide what gets put on your plate, which is sometimes the hardest lesson to learn. We often feel that other variables such as work, church, or people are in charge of our busy schedule. If we are honest, however, this is a lie caused by people pleasing—the fastest track to burnout. Realizing you’re control over your schedule is the first step, and in fact the biggest step, out of the state of burnout. This means sometimes you will have to say no to some good things, because they are not the best for your schedule at this time.
- It’s okay to say no. Despite what today’s society seems to be screaming at us, “no” is not a bad word. In fact, “no” is a very good word. “No” says that I am choosing to say “not right now” to this opportunity because of self control, timing, or wisdom. In order for us to fulfill the calling God has placed on each of our lives and become who He created us to be, we are going to need to say no to many good opportunities. Why? Because it will open us up to even greater opportunities in the future, and allow us to do our best with our currently responsibilities.
- Burnout is seasonal. The biggest lie that we face during burnout is that it will last forever. However, if we think back to the times that we’ve experienced this exhaustion before, we can realize that we have made it through. We have a God who loves us so much that we can trust He will give us the strength and ability to endure whatever is thrown before us in this crazy thing called life. However, the speed of exit and growth that occurs during trails such as burnout, is completely up to you.
There are going to be times when your becoming journey is going to be more bumpy, more tumultuous, and more “busy” than others. Becoming the “you” that God made you to be isn’t always going to be easy, and there will be seasons that lead to burnout. However, God did not design us to live in that season forever. God designed us to learn and grow from this brief blimp in the trajectory of our lives. God designed us for great things of eternal impact. God designed us. He cares about our schedules. Why? Because our schedules will determine our destiny.
If you are experiencing burnout today, cling to the truth that this is just a season. You will come out of this, not only wiser, but more like the (Insert Your Name) that God created you to be! That is something we can celebrate, even in the midst of burnout!
You are loved. You are chosen. You are destined. You are becoming.