"Workouts in the gymnasium are useful, but a disciplined life in God is far more so, making you fit both today and forever." -Paul

20 August 2007

Seasons and gifts

by Ben

I'm back from vacationing in Maine (visiting my father and step-mother). It was a great time of relaxation and recentering. However, now I'm back to work and ready to get this fall kicked-off right.

I read Ecclesiastes 3-5.

Chapter 3 contains the very familiar "Time for everything" passage. And, although this passage is almost cliche, it was part of what I needed to hear today. Upon returning from vacation, I've felt foggy about work. I get things done, but don't have clear vision for the road ahead. No plan of attack. Sure, I've got an outline of the activities that I will do for the next year, but I am starting to see the cyclical nature of what I do.

I was listening to the PDYM podcast today, and Doug and the gang were talking about burnout and tried to define it. Is it a season that sometimes haunts each of us or is burnout the official end of your time in a ministry? They decided that it was the beginning of the end. While I feel this is true, there are still moments when you get sluggish. Whether you work in ministry, education, or real estate, there are seasons of your work-life that drag you down.

I think that the fog that I am feeling is a brief period of this. I still feel that I am a positive force for God's kingdom within the youth and camp ministries. I still feel connected to God. I even have energy in the service of the small tasks of the job. I just feel lethargic.

This feeling could possibly be related to some relational issues going on with my work right now. I feel hesitant about my decisions because of this situation.

However, Chapter 5 in today's reading gives me hope:

"After looking at the way things are on this earth, here's what I've decided is the best way to live: Take care of yourself, have a good time, and make the most of whatever job you have for as long as God gives you life. And that's about it. That's the human lot. Yes, we should make the most of what God gives, both the bounty and the capacity to enjoy it, accepting what's given and delighting in the work. It's God's gift! God deals out joy in the present, the now. It's useless to brood over how long we might live." (Ecc. 5:18-20)


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