“It’s not just ‘more’ that wears us out; it’s the speed by which we live. The problem is we keep adding more and doing it faster. More and faster may be the words that mark our lives, but connections require margin and time.- Kyle Idleman
“[Elijah] came to a broom bush, sat under it, and prayed that he might die. ‘I have had enough, LORD,’ he said. ‘Take my life.’ “- 1 Kings 19:14 (NIV)
In Chapter 5 (“I’m Worn-Out: The Fatigue Alarm”) of When Your Way Isn’t Working, Kyle Idleman comments on his ‘just one more thing’ way of life. Pastor Idleman figured that adding one more thing to his schedule wasn’t going to kill him. As a result, he added it to his schedule.
However, Kyle observes, our schedules contain a compounding effect. Certainly, adding one more thing to your calendar seems insignificant on its own. But it makes everything heavier. In addition, we possess a natural tendency to underestimate the effects of adding just one more thing to the whole. Yet, at some point the burden becomes too heavy.
Furthermore, Pastor Idleman states, as we get older, we tend to focus on choosing more and faster over relationships. Yet, it’s clear this life approach fails to work.
In 2013, Dr. Suzanne Koven, an internist at Massachusetts General Hospital, wrote a piece in the Boston Globe. Dr. Koven’s article described an ‘epidemic’ she noticed with her patients:
“In the past few years, I’ve observed an epidemic of sorts: patient after patient suffering from the same condition. The symptoms of this condition include fatigue, irritability, insomnia, headache, heartburn, bowel disturbances, back pain, and weight gain. There are no blood tests or X-rays diagnostic of this condition, and yet it’s easy to recognize. The condition is excessive busyness.”
Finally, in 1 Kings 19:14 we learn that the prophet Elijah came to realize his way wasn’t working. Overwhelmed and worn-out to the point of despair, Elijah spoke to God. Consequently, he tells God he’s reached his limit on suffering. Therefore, he concludes that life isn’t worth living. He needs margin and time for connection with God.
Today’s question: How do you figure in margin and time to connect with God? Please share.
Tomorrow’s blog: “A valley of fatigue?”