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when exhaustion sets in.

During my devotion a few days ago, I thought about the impending December and how crazy it was going to get – and how tired I was going to be. I applaud and take my hat off CX and RY who have been doing it for a decade.

On this note, I reckon that disillusionment sets in when people are exhausted. I’ve said this before and I believe that fatigue causes us to get emotional and irrational, and this results in us losing interest in people, events and pursuits. Whenever we feel moody we don’t want to talk to people. Whenever we feel down, we feel like we have nothing left to offer so we stop giving. When we are feel tired, all we want to do is to avoid everything and everyone and just recluse into our own space. Can you identify with that?

If you have ever felt that way, which I’m sure you have, that’s completely human and understandable. We have physical capacities and limitations and there’s only so much we can give or do, I guess.

And that is why I was so encouraged when the Holy Spirit directed me to Psalm 121:1-8. This is the absolute faithfulness of God:

1 I look up to the mountains — does my help come from there?

2 My help comes from the LORD, who made the heavens and the earth!

3 He will not let you stumble and fall; the one who watches over you will not sleep.

4 Indeed, he who watches over Israel never tires and never sleeps.

5 The LORD himself watches over you! The LORD stands beside you as your protective shade.

6 The sun will not hurt you by day, nor the moon at night.

7 The LORD keeps you from all evil and preserves your life.

8 The LORD keeps watch over you as you come and go, both now and forever.

We should give Him praise for being someone who neither sleeps, tires or slumbers! What a great assurance! We can put so much confidence and trust in God to deliver us! This portion of scripture reminds me that God is like a 24-hour call centre that never stops operating, never takes a break and is available whenever, wherever.

When I get tired of seeking You, You never get tired of seeking me. Oh God I praise You for Your lovingkindness and steadfastness in my life. Thank You for never giving up on me and for always persisting to pursue me. I love You, Lord.

fanning the flame.

It is inevitable that I am extremely excited about REAL and especially about the upcoming lock-in camp. I’m praying that God will send me the right 10 participants who are serious and not just curious. On a side note, I realised that I’m really quite a camp person; I spent the day putting together the lock-in schedule and I am proud of what I have put together because it looks different from the other years, refreshing and purposeful. I’d like to think that this lock-in camp packs a punch.

I’ve been accumulating sleep debt over the last week (mainly due to FM, I have to be honest here, but my repentance began last night) and as I dragged myself out of bed yesterday morning, I thought about my friends who have “burnt out” in ministry and what these former youth leaders are now. I’d like to think that there’s a huge difference between burning out and losing your fire completely. Think about that for a moment.

More often than not, (physical and emotional) fatigue is usually the cause of sizzling out and I think to address that, it’s an issue of constantly having input – be it through your devotions, mentoring sessions, bible studies or other methods. But losing your fire completely is a sad state of being – it’s like having your passion, zeal and zest for serving God completely removed. I cannot imagine the kind of person I’d be without passion! I’ve become so synonymous with passion over the years that without it I’d be devoid of my driving force, or in a more humourous way, my mojo.

I don’t quite know where I am going with this entry but I find myself juxtaposing how we used to serve and how we are serving now. Did something happen along the way? Did growing up or the allure of the world take something away from us? Some of us seem to have lost that spark in the eye, that fire in the belly, and end up serving the ministry with a lackadaisical attitude.

I have strong opinions about this matter and I do apologise if my tone sounds offensive, but it won’t stop me from saying that it is truly sickening when I see people shortchanging the ministry with a less than excellent spirit (because I know that they can do and have done better!), and yet put in 101% for academic or work pursuits. The question I’m asking isn’t “What’s your passion?” but “WHERE’S your passion?”

This entry is turning out to be a little tough to stomach but at least it’s out of my system. I especially caution those in leadership positions. Once these symptoms start to infiltrate the way you serve, you have to address it immediately by being accountable to someone. If you don’t already know, bad leaders produce bad members who’ll eventually result in becoming worse leaders. This downward spiral of standards and vicious cycle of mediocrity is poisonous not just for our generation but for the generations after us.

May we should rethink the way we ought to serve God.

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