Burned Out On Life or On Fire For Living?

As you got into your car to drive to work this morning did you feel frustrated or discouraged with where your life is headed?  Are you overwhelmed, uninspired and burned out? Does there just seem to be this heaviness that surrounds you? Well, I’ve been there and I am grateful to have found the key to making positive changes. I talk about this in greater detail in the first chapter of my book, but I had reached a point in my life where I had become very disenchanted and unsatisfied with my career. I remember going to work every day with this heaviness, this unrelenting weight squelching my spirit. I’m not sure if it was God trying to get my attention, attempting to make me face my complacency and false sense of security, or if it was maybe the intense stress of my position which had all but broken me. Perhaps it was the disappointment in realizing that all the years of sacrifice, toiling and allowing my work to dominate every facet of my life, were in reality all for naught.

It could have been a mid-life crisis. Although, I really think a mid-life crisis, for most of us, isn’t about buying a hot new sports car or trading your companion in for a newer model. It’s about reaching a point in our life where we just start asking ourselves, “Are my efforts and what I’m doing with this existence amounting to anything significant? Are my days here making any kind of lasting difference?” It was probably all of the above, but one thing was for sure – I had become a pretty miserable person even though my life was filled with countless blessings. I knew that I couldn’t continue on this weakening physical and emotional tightrope. I was dying on the inside. If the stress didn’t destroy me, the overwhelming numbness I was feeling certainly would.

I finally woke up and allowed myself to acknowledge that I was finished. I understood that my ultimate destiny would never be realized at this place. I had somehow found the courage to walk away and rise above the oppressive helplessness that I had allowed to overtake me. I recognized that more pain, brokenness, and eventual life threatening health conditions would result if I prolonged the inevitable.

I’ll be the first to say that God’s ways are often hard to understand. In my case, if He had not allowed all the distressing conditions to break me a little more year after year, I would have settled in, never to achieve His full purpose for me – probably dying from a heart attack, if not from a broken spirit. He had to bring me to that point of submission and emotional desperation so I could see a small glimpse of His plan for the next chapter in my life. I believe that God allows some bad stuff to come our way in order to help us reach our full potential and become a part of His greater plan. I had my life laid out nice and neat. But God’s love is far greater than our plans.

I find more and more that our life as a Christ follower is daily consulting and communing with Him about both the large and the small or what we might think trivial decisions, then waiting on His answer. It does require an enormous amount of patience (faith), but the results are much more rewarding than going out on our own. When He created the human race, I don’t believe that He intended for us to be so independent. After all, we were created in HIS image, and HE never does anything alone.  The Father, Son, and Holy Spirit always work together as one, with everything they do. It’s always been about relationship with God. We were created to experience life WITH Him, but for some reason we always want to try and go it alone. It must have something to do with that thing about free will.

God had to change my attitude, and teach me to be content and trust in Him daily with my life. I believe that’s what it takes to ignite action from God in our lives. It’s difficult for Him to do anything for us if we have a sour attitude. However, a simple decision to change and trust in Him sparks action, releasing His power and loving involvement into our lives. Just as God has used the struggles of countless individuals for a greater good, He has taken what I often thought were wasted years filled with memories that I longed to forget, and used them to touch the lives of people in ways that I’m sure I can’t even imagine. He truly CAN work ALL things for good no matter how painfully or horribly the reality of a fallen world makes itself present to us.

So I would plead with anyone reading this not to discount your life or wish away any part of it. The One who fixed the stars with their glistening shimmer, who makes the planets rotate and orbit through immeasurable galaxies, is capable and has already decided to make our lives an integral part of His master plan if we are only willing to allow Him the task. He wants us to get down in the dirt with Him so He can teach us some things about ourselves, as well as things about Himself, most significantly His unfathomable, impartial love for each and every person – just like a true Father would.

So don’t get too comfortable. He might get your attention right away, or wait on you for years while He prepares you for the task. But one day you’ll feel that tap on the shoulder. And because of His love for you, it might even need to be a hard shove. It may require Him allowing you to become so miserable that you have no other choice than to lay your life at His feet. You might end up watching the world you’ve built with walls of false contentment crumble down all around you. Still, take heart. God’s ways are not our ways. His thoughts are not our thoughts. But it’s a good life ahead – the best – and a wonderful adventure with Him at the helm.

About the Author: John Tracy Wilson, Author – “Of Life, Love and Family” www.johntracywilson.com