Then this last Fall, I hit a wall

2 01 2007

Scripture:
Genesis 3:6-7 (NIV) When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it. She also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it. Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they realized they were naked; so they sewed fig leaves together and made coverings for themselves.

Luke 2:52 (NIV) And Jesus grew in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and men.

Observations:
It is a new day, a new year, and a new week. So what are we going to do with it? What am I going to do with it?

For the past couple of months, I’ve been coasting — trying to catch my breath. Jen and I have been working our tails off for the past 4 years, putting in 120 hour weeks between the two of us. At that rate, I figure we could coast for the next eight years and still just be breaking even with my employer. But since they actually ask us to work 60 hour weeks, I figure I can only coast for the next four years. — whew.

I grew up in a workaholic home. My Dad often worked 7 days a week, 14 hours a day. It was his life and it is what has made retirement so hard on him. He has nothing else to live for. I have always worked long hours. It is this that was partially responsible for the failure of my starter marriage. It is also this that was partially responsible for the my previous career successes. However, 23 months ago I realized that this is not how one raises a family. I began to seek to make changes — but without success. Then last Spring I vowed I would cut back to 50 hours per week, that wasn’t working either. Then this last Fall, I hit a wall — I was truly burned out and couldn’t go on any further.

I remember lying in bed thinking about drinking and drugs. Oops, I said, I gotta make some changes. So for the last couple of months, I’ve been seeking help medically, socially, spiritually, and emotionally.

My greatest desire is to provide for my family — and not just for the physical needs of my family, but for the emotional, spiritual, and social needs too. If I’m not taking care of my family, then nothing else matters — and if I don’t take care of myself, then I can’t provide for my family!

Home Is the Heart of All Activity.–Society is composed of families, and is what the heads of families make it. Out of the heart are “the issues of life”; and the heart of the community, of the church, and of the nation is the household. The well-being of society, the success of the church, the prosperity of the nation, depend upon home influences. {AH 15.1}

As I read through today’s readings, it struck me how selfish we can be. Whether it is disobeying parents, society, or promises we’ve made to others, we are intrinsically selfish.

Eve (and Adam) weren’t thinking of God — or the future of society. They weren’t thinking about their offspring, and they definitely were not thinking about their relationship with God!

They were curious — plain and simple. And it led to the utter destruction of the majority of the human race. How sad. It wrecked their relationship with God. It destroyed trust between the two of them, and one of their kids ended up killing the other one. Oh, how they must have wept at the thought of these consequences for the entire 900+ years they lived.

Application:
So, I stop by McDonald’s and get a couple of cheeseburgers, so what? What does that have to do with anything or anyone else? What if I don’t exercise? So what if I don’t spend QT3 time with God? So, what’s the big deal if I don’t grow spiritually, emotionally, and spiritually? Who cares if I don’t stay physically fit? I’m only hurting myself, right? Does this really have anything to do with anyone or anything?

Plenty.

First, my wife would like me to live long into her old age. I’m older than her and she doesn’t want to live as a widow longer than she has to. Kids are always affected when a parent dies. Is it right to subject my family to an untimely death on my part? No. And, ultimately, God is in control. but, the healthier I live (emotionally, socially, spiritually, and physically), the better my opportunities for blessing my family.

Second, I am called to be the head of this household. If I am not emotionally well — if I am not physically well — if I am not spiritually well — how can I lead anyone anywhere. If it takes all my energy just to get out of bed in the AM , how could I ever move forward? How can I lead?

Third, I’ve been called to lead a whole church. If I can’t lead myself, I can’t lead my family. If I can’t lead my family, how will I ever be able to lead 180 other people?

Finally, I have a moral responsibility to God, my family, my employer, and others to live at my full potential. Whenever I slip — no matter how small — I am not serving them with integrity.

So, it is time to exercise. Spiritually, physically, emotionally, intellectually, and socially.
(stay tuned for a plan)

Prayer:
Father God, just for today, take my life and make me whole.

Amen.

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