Ever feel like you're in a constant state of Jet Lag?
One guy said that jet lag is the mental dilemma of not knowing up from down, or east to west after flying. I thought this was pretty funny and descriptive of my life at times. While it is funny, I have enough sense to know it isn't healthy. What about you?
For me, I can fall into a state of the so called "jet lag" syndrome pretty easily. Without ever stepping foot on a jet my mind can play tricks on me. I think the reason for that is because of the overwhelming desire I have as a pastor to see our church grow and flourish coupled with the many responsibilities and tasks required to accomplish it. My desire and vision for for ministry hovers around 60,000+ feet all the time. Such passion that can keep me up at night. Yet, fulfilling all the passion and desire I have for ministry can be as low as half that even on a good day. While at the same time, I feel as though I'm "burning the candle at both ends" and there's not enough daylight to get it all done. The word frustration doesn't even knock off the tip of the iceberg in trying to describe what I feel at times.
Now, I'm sure pastoring is not the only calling out there that can be overwhelming. Most likely you too experience the feeling of jet lag pretty easy. It's really hard for us sometimes to resist being consumed with all the things we need to do, or for that matter, the things we haven't yet done to get where the Lord is calling us.
For example, raising children alone can be enough to run a parent into jet lag. I run into moms all the time that feel, and even look that way, because of all they have to do in being "mom". So whether you're a mom, a teacher, a dad, employee, business owner or even a pastor you know very well what I'm talking about. The question is, is there anyway to become immune to jet lag? I believe so.
A dear minister friend of mine Steve Snider said to me one time while I was spending a weekend with him, "man, I've just got to many irons in the fire". I laughed when he said that because honestly I felt the same way as he did. What he was saying was that there were some things in his life that he needed to cut back on that were senseless and going nowhere fast. That's an easy fix for us. All we need to do, if that's where we are, is adopt the word "No" into our vocabulary. But, what about the person who doesn't feel they're doing more than they should be doing and just having a hard time keeping up?
One of the greatest messages I ever heard preached in dealing with this topic of being overwhelmed was understanding the difference of being Grace vs. Law conscious. It came out of the passage where Jesus said to the people that were standing before Him in Mathew 11:28, "Come unto me all you that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you REST".
I never realized the true essence of what Jesus was saying until I looked closely at NO. 1 who it was He was talking to in that day and NO. 2 the issue at hand. He was ministering to people under the Law who were laboring to please God by their own efforts. People who were doing all the right things but going about doing them all the wrong way. In essence, what He was saying to the people in that day is the same thing we need to hear today. He was saying (in my own interpretation) "Come unto me all you who labor and heavy laden under the law trying to please God by your own efforts, and I will give you rest".
Once I saw this, for the first time in my life, I began to experience peace on the inside. Nothing on the outside changed. I had the same responsibilities, the same desire to see my church grow and flourish, the same desire to raise Godly children, the same desire to be a good husband, etc. The only thing that changed was my perspective of my relationship with God. I saw that there was a direct connection between the problem of feeling a mental state of "jet lag" and my relationship with God.
Since that day when I first began to see myself totally in Christ I have stumbled and made mistakes still, but the difference is I don't let it get me down and burned out. My mental state has absolutely nothing to do with my eternal standing with God. Therein lies the power to be restored from the jet lag we feel from time to time.
Actually, today I have more responsibilities on me than I ever imagined possible. But, my responsibilities are not what defines me. Nor, do I let how well I perform and complete my assignments determine or have the last say on my standing in God. I am in Christ, under Grace!
My prayer for you today is that you began to really take hold of all that Jesus has accomplished for you in His finished work on the cross and learn to remain in His REST.