There have been a few times in my life when I have felt overwhelmed, stressed-out, and exhausted. It's easy during times like this to lose focus on what really matters; the people we care about, the things we are passionate about, and our calling in life.
About three years ago I went through a time such as this. It was one of the most difficult times in my life. I was stressed, passionless, making poor choices in regards to my eating habits and overall health. I constantly had a bad attitude, and I was exhausted almost to the point of complete burn-out. (At a later time I will blog more in-depth about the reasons why this happened to me and about some of the symptoms I displayed during that time)...
I am thankful for my wife, my five friends, who are also my mentors & accountability partners (Mike, Mike, Brian, Tony, and Tim), my coworker and good friend Jay, and Shan, who was my boss at the time. I am thankful for them because they listened to the Holy Spirit when I was unable to. They had the courage to speak truth into my life. They spoke words of encouragement, challenged me, provided healing, and direction. I especially want to thank my wife, who stood by me during this time; I was a very difficult person to live with.
Ultimately though it was up to me to take the steps towards healing, health living, and rest. Once I took these steps, my eyes opened to things God had been trying to show me about myself and His desire for me to have a full life. I was told that I had lost focus of the values that were important to me, and I had forgotten my calling.
When We Lose Focus...
Having the wrong view of our problems and losing sight of our calling can lead to depression, unhealthy habits, and ultimatley poor choices. These things can have adverse affects on us and the people who we have community with.
Wayne Cordeiro states it this way,
"The way we view our problem often times is the problem. If our perception is poor, opportunities become terrifying and invitations appear as threats."
When we are in the midst of our problems, stress, depression, temptation, or exhaustion it is important for us to focus on what God has called us to—Wayne Cordeiro says to remember your divine commission and your high calling.
When I started to try and remember my "divine commision" and my "high calling," I couldn't center or focus my thoughts. I asked myself over and over again this question: What did God call me to? I had trouble answering this. It was difficult for me have clarity with all the familiar noise and sights around me.
I needed to find rest and more importantly I needed to get away. Except I couldn't allow myself to take time off and rest. I felt if I did I wasn't being productive and that I was lazy. I had one of my mentors tell me that rest was not a sin and when I began to truly believe that statement, I found freedom to remove myself from my geographical surroundings and take a break.
I went on a retreat to the Rocky Mountains through an organization called CIY (the retreat I went on is called Wilderness), and my wife sent me away to the Oregon coast for a week to visit my friends Mike and Tony.
It was here that I was able to focus and center my thoughts so I could answer the question: What did God call me to? And when I was able to do this—recovery and healing began to flow into my life.
I must state here that not everyone's calling is the same and sometimes our calling changes or takes different turns in different seasons of life.
The calling I received when I first became a Christian over twenty-one years ago remains the same calling for me today. I wrote my calling down during my get-a-way to the Oregon coast. It was helpful for me to I list it in seven bullet points.
Seven things about my calling I need to remember:
- I need to not fear, but have faith.
- I will be asked to do some difficult tasks for the kingdom of God (My family and I).
- I will be empowered by the Holy Spirit.
- Jesus will be with me and go before me.
- I will preach the good news about Jesus to His people and to those who don't know Him yet (In both, word and action).
- I will be a servant-leader and shepherd of His church.
- I will write about Him (Jesus) and about His grace, forgiveness, goodness, and His love.
This is my calling.
There are still moments that I fall into a funk of worthlessness, stress, and exhaustion; usually when I lose my focus on Jesus and His grace in my life, and my calling.
When this happens I ask myself... What did God call me to?