Burnout—it's real, and it can have major consequences. It can leave you empty, discouraged and exhausted, with little energy left for God. Sound familiar? Maybe it's time to replenish. Start here.
1. Get away. "Come away by yourselves to a remote place and rest a while, for many were coming and going, and they had no leisure even to eat" (Mark 6:31, MEV).
You don't have to use vacation days or drive far away to take a break with God. You can pick a place close by to relax and simply enjoy His presence. Here are some ideas: a community park, a pool, a hammock or rocking chair, a quiet corner of an ice cream or coffee shop, a bookstore or library, or a spot by the water. You might even bring some music or a journal.
If you like to be active, try going on a hike or bike ride, kayaking, taking a one-person picnic, gardening or painting. Getting away doesn't have to mean a change in your physical location, as long as you're getting away from daily stresses to spend time with God.
2. Be still. "Be still, and know that I am God" (Ps. 46:10, MEV).
Taking time to "be still" may be harder today than ever. So much screams for our attention in this fast-paced, digital world. In the Bible, the prophet Elijah heard God in the form of a "still small voice" (1 Kings 19:12). If we don't intentionally take time to turn down life's noise and be still, we could miss God's quiet message to our hearts.
Part of being still means taking a break from the demands of work, school and other activities and focusing on God. If you aren't intentionally setting aside one day a week to rest and worship, now is a good time to start.
Here's an Answer from Billy Graham on why God set aside a Sabbath day and how we can make it part of our lives:
replenish | re-PLEN-ish
(v): To fill up again; to restore or make complete again
3. Listen. "A wise man will hear and increase learning, and a man of understanding will attain wise counsel" (Prov. 1:5, MEV).
God often speaks to us in a still, small voice. Other times, He sends a meaningful message through a person or experience at the right moment. Yet, worry, stress and a growing "to-do" list can clutter our minds and keep us from listening.
This message from Billy Graham, "The Rest That Endures," may be just what you need to hear.
Watch this video of Ruth Bell Graham's poem, "Stillness," can also offer encouragement:
4. Meditate. "But his delight is in the law of the Lord, and in his law he meditates day and night" (Ps. 1:2, MEV).
There are so many thoughts crowding our minds that it can be hard to focus. We're pulled in every direction, with this person or that thing demanding our attention. But then we come to a verse like Psalm 1:2, which tells us to meditate on God's Word. How exactly do you do that? And with such a hectic schedule?
Here are some practical ways to focus your attention on God, even when you're busy.
5. Be present. "Jesus answered her, "Martha, Martha, you are anxious and troubled about many things. But one thing is needed. And Mary has chosen the good part, which shall not be taken from her"(Luke 10:41-42, MEV).
Do you find yourself going through the motions or so frazzled that you can't really enjoy a special moment? As the story of Mary and Martha in Luke 10 reveals, we can't afford to be so busy or distracted that we fail to hear God's voice, experience His presence, or honor His goodness.