Tuesday, January 20, 2009

How Are You? I'm tired.

Lately I've noticed that my answer to the question "How are you?" is "tired." This is a switch, because until that answer took over as number one, my response had been "busy." I guess it's a natural progression.

There's nothing wrong with being busy, as long as we're doing the right things and we balance the busyness with rest. For me, that's the hard part, because even though it seems logical that we need rest (even God took a break after creation)I struggle with feeling that rest is a waste of time. Just last Sunday I felt the need for a true day of rest. Immediately the guilt started. "I really should go to church," I thought, but I realized that God was calling me to a quiet time with him alone at home.

Later, I started to think about how much work I could get done during the afternoon. I could finish several work projects, or get some cleaning done around the house. I could call some friends with whom I hadn't had chance to catch up.

It's hard for me to sit with a pot of tea, enjoy a good book or movie without constantly thinking that I should be doing something else. No wonder I'm tired. Even in times of rest my mind is at work. God's been showing me that if I can't rest physically, I won't be able to rest spiritually.

Sometimes I grow tired not because of the number of tasks I am trying to complete, but because doing work for the kingdom can be very draining. People can be particularly energetic in their resistance to spiritual efforts (and that includes Christians as well as non Christians). If we don't strive for balance and restoration, we won't have spiritual strength, and that can have consequences more dangerous than being physically tired.

Verse 11:28 in Matthew from The Message has given me some fresh perspective this week:
"Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you'll recover your life. I'll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won't lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you'll learn to live freely and lightly."

I chuckled, when in the middle of God's instruction to me on this, I received an update from Lee Strobel entitled "fighting evangelism fatigue." It began "Your brother is an atheist. Your neighbor is into New Age and Tarot cards. Your boss thinks Christianity is based on ancient mythology. The waiter at your favorite lunch spot is a Muslim. Your chiropractor is simply indifferent about God. And some days – if you're really honest – you just don't care very much." (Read the full newsletter article by clicking here.)

That's what happens when we allow fatigue to take over: we end up not caring. It's hard to keep perspective.

It's the start of a new year, new opportunities and new work to be done. I hope it will be the start of a new way of thinking too, one that puts high value on rest and sees it as training ground for all that keeps me busy.

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Daily Inspiration

The Blind Side

Read about the real life mom from "The Blind Side."

Lifeway: http://www.lifeway.com/article/?id=169816

Guideposts: http://www.guideposts.com/story/sandra-bullock-blind-side-football?page=0,1

Read Matt Mungle's review of the movie at http://www.buddyhollywood.com/.

Lauren Yarger, Bio

Lauren Yarger has written, directed and produced numerous shows and special events for both secular and Christian audiences. She co-wrote a Christian musical version of “A Christmas Carol” which played to sold-out audiences of over 3,000 in Vermont and was awarded the 2000 Vermont Bessie (theater and film awards) for “People’s Choice for Theatre.” She also has written two other dinner theaters, sketches for church services and devotions for Christian artists.

Yarger trained for three years in the Broadway League’s Producer Development Program, completed the Commercial Theater Institute's Producing Three-Day Training and produced a one-woman musical about Mary Magdalene that toured nationally and closed with an off-Broadway run.

In 2008 she was a Fellow at the National Critics Institute at the O'Neill Theater Center in Waterford, CT. She writes reviews of Broadway and off-Broadway theater with a Christian perspective for Reflections in the Light (http://reflectionsinthelight.blogspot.com/) and is editor of The Connecticut Arts Connection. She also is a contributing editor for BroadwayWorld.com

She also reviews books for Publisher's Weekly and is a member of the National Book Critics Circle. She formerly was Connecticut theater editor for CurtainUp, a national theater web site bsed in New York and a reviewer for American Theater Web.

She also served as Executive Director of Masterwork Productions, Inc. and worked in arts management for the Bushnell Center for the Performing Arts in Hartford and the Hartford Symphony Orchestra.

She is a freelance writer and member of the Drama Desk, The Outer Critics Circle, The American Theater Critics Association, The League of Professional Theatre Women and The CT Critics Circle.

A former newspaper editor and graduate of the University of Missouri’s School of Journalism, Yarger lives with her husband in West Granby, CT and has two adult children.

Copyright Notice

All contents copyright © Lauren Yarger 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013. All rights reserved. For reprint permission, contact masterworkproductions@yahoo.com.

Scripture from THE MESSAGE Copyright 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002. Used by permission of NavPress Publishing Group.

Scripture taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved.

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