Recovering from burnout
“I am weary and worn out.” Pr 30:1 NLT
Dr. Richard Swenson says, “You can go into the woods, select a ten-foot sapling, bend it over, and when you release it, it will return to its normal height. But if you keep bending it further and further, it will stay down. With stress, first you bend, and then you recover. With burnout, first you bend, and then you break—and you stay broken. When the writer of Proverbs says, ‘I am weary and worn out,’ he is not referring to a figment of his imagination or a sensationalized diagnosis by psychologists. Exhaustion is real and it’s common and it’s dangerous; it leads to irritability, anger, paranoia, headaches, ulcers, depression, and suicide. Burnout causes something inside you to break; you don’t care who sees or hears, you just want out. The good news is you can recover your passion, enthusiasm, productivity, and excellence, but it takes time and the healing is mostly by scar formation. Burnout is common among the spiritually minded who are sensitive…They see pain and internalize it. They want to help the wounded…they don’t realize they were never designed to carry the world on their backs.” So what’s the remedy? “Rest in the shadow of the Almighty” (Ps 91:1 NLT). But to receive Psalm 91’s benefits, you need to meet its conditions by making God your dwelling place, abiding in Him, and submitting to His authority. “I will say of the Lord, He is my refuge and my fortress…in him will I trust” (v. 2). Note the word “say.” What you say can mean life or death (See Pr 18:21). It can put you over the top or put you under. So today, read God’s Word, internalize and personalize and verbalize it, and your life will take an upward swing.