Overachievers don't have it easy in today's culture. Not only do we have internet available twenty-four seven, so that we're constantly connected to an inflow of new information, but in that specific sweet spot between highschool and marriage there's simply so much to do. Education (whether through college or independently), caring for family needs, pursuing money-making ventures, and taking time to grow in the Lord turn our days into a hectic spin of running from one deadline to another.
When we're at all equipped for ministry in the Church, the problem compounds exponentially. Truly 'the harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few', and those of us who are able to teach and disciple others are sadly outnumbered by baby Christians who clamoring for spiritual food. Ministry leaders, on top of living their everyday lives, often feel so pressed to provide for needs in the Church that our mental refreshment is for the purpose of pouring it into someone else the minute we've swallowed it.
I'm an overachiever, and have been for years. I try to say yes to every need, meet every deadline, and go as deep as I possibly can with every assignment. Many of you are too; and in the thousand varied tasks that fill our days, we try to solve our problem of too much to do and too little time by making our first and biggest mistake. We stop taking time to feed our own souls.
There are no margins. There are no five minute breaks. There are no times to sit and rest. Bedtimes creep later and rising times get earlier to compensate for the fact that we are needed, and we only have twenty-four hours in which to fill those needs. Oh, granted, we take the obligatory food to keep our souls alive. Many of us still catch some Bible reading every day. Occasionally we'll scarf down a few pages in an inspirational book, chat with a friend, or watch a movie when we're tired. But I think if we were honest with ourselves, we would admit that a lot of us have been living on spiritual and mental protein shakes for a very long time. Fun is a hazy concept, and relaxation must have been in with the Victorian age for the rich folks who could afford it. The projects never stop. The emails never end. The needs always press.
And some days, if we could really see ourselves, a lot of us overachievers would be a bunch of weak, anorexic souls who are crying inside over the things we can't let go, too hungry ourselves to feed others much longer, and desperate for someone to tell us that they'll understand if we don't get everything done.
So what can we do to escape this trap that we've created for ourselves?
Find the rest here.