I was about two weeks away from doing my way out of doing what I love.
Two weeks away from not loving what I do...
and I love what I do.
This frightening point is one where creativity and inspiration run pale and dry, and once they are gone, passion and drive begin to wilt away as well.
It is a point when every email, complaint, passive comment meets no opposition on its destructive path to your heart.
Call it what you want: burnout, stressed-out, overwhelmed...
When you look out the window to realize all engines are on fire, and your entire life is rapidly losing altitude, it does not matter any longer what term you want to give.
Most of the time you have the capacity to withstand, what in a moment, can become too much.
It is the moment when it all begins to weigh heavily enough to break.
We do everything right, don't we? As good Christians or especially as good pastoral professionals, you know what has to be done. So you do everything right when you begin to see the warning signs.
When you are doing what you love and it begins to press into the overwhelming realm, you know that you need "more time in the Word." You need "more quiet times". So we do all the right things; we get back in the word looking for refreshment, a revival of the heart...we are looking for LIFE.
Day after day you "come to the word" looking for something...for ANYTHING that will inspire, something to "jump off the page" that will in some miraculous act of God's hand will rip you out of impending burnout.
But when you are at a point where inspiration, creativity, life, and passion are gone, you are looking blankly with hope that something...just...happens.
just a little bit inside.
When I left for vacation last week on a cruise, I was in a drastic search for...something...for anything. I was looking for inspiration. I was looking for my passion. It felt a bit like a drowning man flailing and grasping for anything solid to hold on to. Reaching for something that
In that search, I sought the right things from the right places. I had determined to read scripture every day of vacation. If I could do that, at least I had a chance to get where I needed to be. At least I would find the life I needed.
On my first day, looking out at the endless horizon and realizing how two opposing worlds (ocean and sky) collide effortlessly in a straight faint line, I realized in John 1:18 how two opposing distances (my tangible life and the Spirit of God) could collide in an effortless and simple moment of the heart.
Suddenly I was a Pharisee being reminded:
"You diligently study the Scriptures because you think that by them you possess eternal LIFE. These are the Scriptures that testify about [Jesus], yet you refuse to come to [JESUS] to have life." (5:39-40)
And in a simple collision of my heart, there was nothing to interrupt or block me. Two worlds met in that moment, and my heart found life.
I took a breathe of life into my heart, lungs, and stomach.
I didn't have to do anything or think of anything.
I only sat and let two worlds come together in a simple collision of creativity, inspiration, intimacy, and life.
For a week...that is all I needed.
I imagine I do not need the open ocean to find that place of heart again.
LISTENING TO: "The Outsiders" by Needtobreathe