Stay ahead of the pain, weariness

By Dave Henning / November 24, 2019

“My theory is that when you’re driving ninety miles per hour, you stay ahead of much of the pain.  But pull into a rest stop, and disappointment catches up and parks beside you. . . .  And weariness.  Sometimes you don’t realize how tired you’ve become until you stop moving.”- Jeff Manion

On Day 10 (“Recovery”) of Dream Big, Think Small Jeff Manion takes not of when emotional letdowns await.  For example, the soul pleads for repair after major events or an unrelenting string of demanding challenges.

Therefore, Pastor Manion counsels, those who empty themselves on behalf of others must learn to anticipate and expect the drain.  Because Jeff likes to run marathons, he knows it’s crucial to commit to post-race recommendations prior to the actual start of the race.  However, one’s not always drawn to healthy and healing activities, especially in the face of exhaustion.  Consequently, these suggested practices include:

  1. drinking a sports drink and eating something right way, preferably something containing protein — even if you feel no hunger or thirst
  2. peeling off your wet clothing and putting on something dry — despite your sore and tight leg muscles
  3. stretching — because you need to relax those tight muscles
  4. walking or jogging shortly after the marathon — get those legs moving
  5. plunging into cold water or an ice bath — no hot tub

In conclusion, Pastor Manion exhorts, self-care isn’t selfish.  In order to take care of others, you need to take care of yourself.  Thus, Jeff explains, know ahead of time what practices you’ll use to fill your empty space:

“Know that when you’ve emptied yourself, your heart grows hungry.  When you are depleted, the temptation is to fill yourself with anything. . . .  It fills the empty space for a moment, but ultimately steals more from us than we could imagine.  So decide what to do before you get there.  Not unlike crossing the finish line of a marathon, determine in advance what restorative practice will speed your recovery.”

Today’s question: What practices aid your recovery when you try to stay ahead of the pain?  Please share.

Tomorrow’s blog: “Legacy of faithful living = small acts”

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Dave Henning

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