It has been about two weeks since my last real post. I mentioned feeling under the weather in that post, and this is the reason it has been so long since I have posted. I have had bronchitis for about a month now. It took a turn for the worse, and I had almost no energy. I have been barely getting through the school day and then coming home to crash. Two weeks of that and a second doctor’s visit later, and I am finally feeling closer to normal. I finally have the energy to write a bit at the end of the day.
Becuase this all has lasted for weeks, I eventually realized God was trying to use it to get my attention. No, I am not saying that he smote me with illness (though I do think it is possible that he can use this to get our attention about certain things in our live). He used it to teach me a lesson about myself. Where my focus is. Where my heart is.
The flipside of being a pretty energetic guy is that when I am limited in physical, mental, or spiritual energy, it is hard for me to cope. I just can’t seem to find the joy in things, patience for things not working, or enthusiasm for things that I am used to having. This makes me do everything half-hearted. I just can’t figure out what to do. My brain feels broken. This makes it more difficult to follow through on things I set out to do, or makes me just want to stop doing some of the things I would like to do.
This month of feeling this way really took a toll on me. At school, it seemed like I wasn’t teaching well and the smallest disruptions in schedule or my plans have frazzled me to the point I had trouble adjusting…and I am not used to this happening to me. My lesson plans were less than I like them to be because I just have not been able to get my brain to make connections and figure out cool ideas. While teaching or dealing with students in the hallway, my patience was dramactically less, and I had just couldn’t get that to change for me, and this frustrated me to no end.
At home, I pretty much just crashed after spending so much of my energy trying to be “normal” at school. I couldn’t help out around the house as much. I was less patient with NB. Less helpful to LA, and I did have much left in me to spend time with her and persue her. I just got irratated by the things to be done around the house because I just didn’t have much strength left at the end of the day to tackle them. On the weekends I have been so worn out that I just pretty much laid around so that I could try to recover from the week and feel well enough to tackle the next one.
My writing became harder because of a lack of time and energy. Eventually I just stopped trying to write the blog. Thus the not normal couple of posts and then the silence. I didn’t even read any other blogs or spend much time online at all.
“Hey, OneCup Guy, you are sounding pretty ‘woe is me’ right now.” Sorry. That is not my intention, I just want to let you in on how it has been for me so you can understand the lesson that came from it.
Something pretty awesome came from all of this. A lesson that I really needed to learn. And it all has to do with my heart. It is about trying to fight the “old man” and let the “new man” be who I am. It was a pretty major realization that God gave to me.
Energy/strength to get through the day and complete tasks and fulfill responsiblilities is a lot like money. You do not have an unlimited amount. You have to budget it. The more you have, the less you have to pay attention to your budget, but in a time of lower income you really have to watch where all of it goes. I am used to being more “rich” in energy. I can usually do a lot and put a lot of enthusiasm into what I am doing. I often have so much that I do not even know when I am wasting energy. Times that I am using it for things that are not important or not high priorities are not always obvious to me becuase of my excess of energy.
My budget got cut. I did not have extra energy. I did not even have enough for the day to day. I lived and acted like I had my usual budget, but I didn’t. This wore me out, and it is probably why I have stayed sick so long.
Last week, God really showed me that my energy usage, like my money, showed where my heart was. In Matthew 6:19-21, Jesus was talking about where we store our treasures in life. He ends by saying, “Where your treasure is, that is where your heart is.” God showed my how my energy is like treasure, and where I spend it shows my heart. Am I spending myself on me and my kingdom or am I spending it on others, God, and his Kingdom?
He really sent me into a time of reflection. I had a limited resource of myself. The limits showed that I was spreading my energy too thin, and I was not doing anything well. I was “juggling”” to much at once and looking to my “juggling skills” to keep it going. I was wasting energy on things that were about me. About my little kingdom and buidling myself up. I was not using the little energy I had on other people and on God. I had to prioritize and drop things of lesser importance. God, family, and serving others IN LOVE is where I needed to spend my treasure. Not trying to control my world. I had to give those things over to God.
The last two days of last week and this weekend were pretty awesome. I felt closer to normal. I put my energy towards the things that mattered, dropped what didn’t, and trusted God to take care of whatever was left. I started storing my treasures in the right places.
What about you? Does your time and energy budget show where your heart is?