How to survive in a culture that celebrates burnout

I was reading my friend LaVone’s blog post yesterday and she described herself as a watcher.

If you don’t know LaVonne, she’s a sixty something years young adventurer, travelling around the US in her home on wheels, cutely named ‘LaVanne’. She’s an inspiration and you should hear the stories she has to tell.

But that’s not why I’m mentioning her today.

At the end of her post she said, “I like to watch. Is that so wrong?” and, much like one of the commentators, I wanted to rush and tell her, no, of course it’s not wrong. You’re delightful and wonderful, just the way you are.

Thankfully for us though, LaVonne’s totally at peace with being a watcher. It’s all good 🙂

But as I was pondering on today and what I might share with you (between you and I, I never know from one day to the next!) it did get me to thinking.

As I write this it’s Monday, a brand new week. I love new things. New weeks. New months. New stuff. New ideas. There is this temptation though to feel like we need to go big with the new.

We give lip service to the importance of rest and stillness but all the while living in a culture that celebrates burnout. Don’t believe me? When was the last time you saw anyone receive an award for sitting still and doing nothing?!?

If we do manage to stop for just a little while we feel like we have to provide an explanation as to why it is we feel justified in so doing. We seem incapable of doing nothing.

But what if we didn’t live like this? What if we stopped pushing and striving and contorting ourselves to fit in? What might that look like?

There’s a time for action and a time to be still, a time to reap and a time to sow, a time for tears and a time to celebrate. There is a time for everything.

But that everything has it’s time means, logically, some of the time we have to stop. Be still. Do nothing. Otherwise it’s all just out of balance.

Does the idea of doing nothing freak you out a little bit? Maybe you fear you’ll getting nothing done? Ruin your life? Waste your days?

But what if you could simply trust that those small, consistent daily actions you’re taking, mixed in with periods of still and quiet nothing, were actually the perfect antidote to the burnout loving culture that we live in?

God did loads of cool stuff, made the world, and then rested. He didn’t first send a memo explaining that he’d worked jolly hard and now was his time to chill out. Instead, he set that day of rest as part of the rules for living for Moses and all the people after him.

We live in a post-Jesus world where much of the rules and guidelines of the Old Testament don’t apply any more (you should see the mixed fabrics I’m wearing today, for example) but some things, if we chose to hang on to them, would be great for us.

And that includes resting. Being still.

And so your challenge for today, if you choose to accept it 😉 is to take 5 minutes today to just be, yes, even though it’s Monday!

Are you ready?
Get to it! 🙂