I am currently working through a large back yard project. We recently hit a stage where we had to meet a deadline. We had a ton of work to do in a short period of time. We were working all our weekends and some weekday evenings. It consumed our every thought and every conversation. Needless to say, once it was done, I was too. I was so burnt out that I couldn’t even find motivation to exercise because it was too similar to yard work. I had put everything into this and at the end, I was empty.
I, like everyone else these days, use technology to numb the brain from pain. I was tired and exhausted. Instead of dealing with it head on by getting extra sleep, adjusting my schedule to recuperate, I would just numb the feelings by watching stupid videos on Facebook. I was wasting so much time watching stupid crap so I wouldn’t have to deal with how I was feeling that my work was being impacted. I was also keeping myself distracted after work, so it was impacting my family too. If any of us still think that our kids aren’t impacted by the amount of time we spend looking at our phones, then listen to the comments they make. Our kids will tell us when we are too distracted.
I sat trying to decide what I wanted to do. I needed to do some work, but I was just not interested. I thought I would pick up a new book to reinvigorate my imagination. I made it a couple of pages in and it felt too much like work, so I stopped. I finally admitted to myself that I was tired and went to bed at 8:30. I woke up rested and with a clear mind. After good night’s sleep I can solve any problem in the shower. (I swear I have solved world hunger in the shower, but forgot it when I stepped out.) I realized that I had stepped away from the fire and was wondering why I was cold.
I wanted to return to the source of my energy, of my joy…for me that is God. What had happened is that by avoiding my need to recuperate, I had taken it upon myself to try and solve my own problems. In my fallen nature, I made bad decisions by watching stupid cat videos. After enough bad decisions, I had unintentionally turned by back to my source. I wanted to feel better so I wanted to return to my God. The problem was, I felt guilty about it.
I took a moment to think through my guilt. I wanted to return to God because I wanted to feel better. Using the analogy above, I wanted to return to the fire to get warm. The problem is that God is a person, not a thing. I cannot use God to make myself feel better, just like I can’t use any other person to make myself feel better. If I was going to return to God, I had to do it because I love him and he is worthy of love, not because he makes me feel good. Eventually, I realized that I had to confess my selfishness. I had focused on myself and because of that I had turned my back on God. In order to return to God, I would I have to turn back to him in humility. The beautiful thing about God is that he doesn’t hold a grudge. When I came back to him, he reminded me that he never left and we fell back in lockstep.