Father, many live their lives on empty.
You don’t call us to burnout. Speak to us when we are overdoing it. Tell us when we need to rest.
Father, our lives are so hectic. They are filled with those to do lists which occupy our minds. We find we can’t get all the A list items done without more popping up. Many of us have given up on the B list. Many have resolved themselves to the reality that the C list items will never get done.
Father, these consuming lists sometimes visit us in our sleep. We toss and turn as we worry about all the things we haven’t done. We awake exhausted. We drag ourselves through the day. We become irritable. Little things that don’t normally bother us do. We are less patient and loving in all of our relationships. We become short-tempered.
Our family, personal and work relationships become affected. We spend too little time with our wives and children. They feel starved of our love. We justify being away from our families. We say to them sacrifices must be made in order for them to have all the things money can buy. Your wife and children need your love and time, not the material things you can provide them. When did life become more about having things than caring for others? The latest Big Screen TV or Tablet won’t provide comfort. Help us to use what You give us in the proper way. Things give us an escape from the reality of life. They help us hide from the things in our lives we don’t want to deal with.
Giving souls are giving too much. They feel guilty about not being like their other colleagues, who can handle the responsibilities of family and work. They feel they are failures. Something must be deficient with them. They blame themselves. They deny being in burnout because they are often not aware of it. If they do know they are, they push themselves to unhealthy limits. They think if they just tried a little harder everything could get done. Then, their health becomes affected. They get sick. Life begins to lose its joy.
Free those in burnout from false guilt. Darkness seeks for us to believe we have failed to measure up to Your standards. This is a lie. The truth is You want all of us to live our lives with Your priorities.
When unreasonable work expectations have been made of others, show those responsible the error of their thinking. Speak to their hearts about how more reasonable job requirements can be made.
When we have failed to keep up our spiritual disciplines bring us back to them. Immerse us in Your Word. Give us teachable spirits so we can learn the lessons we need to. Where we have become spiritually weak make us strong. Help us to take time to breathe in the message of Your amazing love into our thirsting souls.
If we have stopped feeling Your heart speak to ours, give us the willingness to be honest about it with You. We can hide nothing from You.
Show us the invigorating beauty of Your creation. Let us never be too busy to smell the sweet fragrance of a flower, to hear the joy of children laughing and playing, to feel the caress of Your wind, how the trees dance with the wind, to allow the child in us who wants to have fun come alive.
We struggle with living a balanced life. Show us how to manage our lives better. Guide us in what we need to cut from our busy schedules.
Where we have failed to be caring people convict us.
Father, help those in burnout admit it. Guide them in seeking help from those who care and they can trust. Provide the professional help they need to heal within. Grant them both the physical and emotional rest they need.
While the individual is recovering from burnout and afterwards, please bring people to them who care. Let them not be forgotten. Bring people to visit the person in burnout. Take that person out for a coffee or a meal. Take time to really listen to what they have to say.
Father, we reach out to all those in the helping professions whether you are ministers, counsellors, coaches or social workers. Please take time to be good to yourselves. Spend more time with family and friends. Never feel guilty about needing respites and vacations from your responsibilities.
Father, thank you for loving others through their burnout. Show us how we can be more compassionate people towards them.
Kevin Osborne is training to become a psychotherapist, priest and chaplain through St. James the Elder University in Jacksonville, Florida. He and his wife, Karen, plan to open a counselling practice. Karen is taking graduate divinity studies at Trinity College in the University of Toronto. Kevin is planning on taking additional graduate studies there. He is a member of The Word Guild, a Christian writer’s group in Canada.
Our greatest calling is to be servants of our Lord wherever He calls us to go.