When Life Is Physically Draining
I hear the ding on my phone indicating another email has come in, and my hand jumps to snatch it. The length of tomorrow’s to-do list enlivens my mind such that I cannot sleep. When I consider the pile of bills on my kitchen table and the uncertainty of our volatile economy, I twitch in my seat. I’m stressed, and if you’re like most Americans, you are too.
We all have limits, and the sooner we recognize it the better off we’ll be. I’ve discovered a strategy derived from one of the greatest leaders in all of history who nearly burned out and died early because of his stress. Yet, he took three steps forward that gave him the ability to handle it all. And through this, he teaches us a winning strategy for overcoming a physically draining life.
Recognize Your Limits
Moses was literally in the middle of a stress mess (see Exodus 18:13-18). He was not a bad leader or poor at time management, his stress was honestly earned. He was the classic workaholic, but his fuel tank was empty. Not only had he reached his limits, he had exceeded them. Now he had to face his limits.
He performed an impressive task. But on the inside he was dying and moving closer to burnout. Maybe people close to Moses didn’t notice, but Moses’s father-in-law did. He came to his son-in-law and said, “You and these people who come to you will only wear yourselves out.”
Share the Load
When you’re carrying too much of a load, you will eventually share it one way or the other. Either you will collapse, unable to carry the load at all, or you will share a part of it so you can carry what you ought to be carrying.
Moses didn’t realize it at the time, but Jethro gave him one of the greatest leadership lessons ever taught. He told Moses to evaluate what only he could do and delegate what others can do.
Talk to God
The first piece of advice Jethro gave Moses was: “Listen now to me and I will give you some advice, and may God be with you. You must be the people’s representative before God and bring their disputes to him.”
Now we come to the root of Moses’s problem. He was spending too much time talking to the people about God and not enough time talking to God about the people.
The key? Make sure to handle only the things God wants you to handle.
We weren’t built to live without limits. We were built to live within the boundaries that God has established for us and to thrive in the work He’s given us. When we do operate within ourselves and cling to God’s strength, then and only then do we see the full extent and reach of our abilities.