I was shocked recently to hear my children lovingly tell me that they thought the phrase they heard the most from me wasn't "I love you," or even "Clean up your room," but "I hit the wall." I didn't realize how often I'd been completely worn out.
About the same time, I noticed a few articles in the media that indicated that burnout and exhaustion are becoming more and more commonplace complaints in the workplace and at home. More than ever before, people are on the go constantly, working under pressure, and living in a state of perpetual tiredness.
I was glad the kids woke me up to this. I had indeed been feeling too much fatigue.
I also knew where I wanted to go for treatment: to prayer.
For many years, I've relied on my understanding of God to give me an unshakable sense of wellness, and this has been accomplished through prayer. I wanted to feel the touch of Christ bringing me renewed energy and joy in living.
I often begin by turning to "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures," the major work by Mary Baker Eddy, who founded this newspaper. So this time I found this statement: "The spiritual demand, quelling the material, supplies energy and endurance surpassing all other aids, and forestalls the penalty which our beliefs would attach to our best deeds" (p. 385).
I needed to change my focus from a "material demand" - the demands of the job, the demands of the home - to the "spiritual demand." I interpreted this to mean the demand for spiritual qualities to be expressed, qualities derived from God. These qualities include intelligence, since God is Mind, and energy, since God is Life itself.
This turning of thought to God is prayer, because it recognizes God as all-power, as the present help in our lives.
This didn't change any of my daily work or home demands. But I began to realize that instead of thinking of myself as a fleshy being separated from God, running around and running down, I needed to see that I am actually the expression of God, so it's natural for me to spend my day expressing spiritual qualities, such as wisdom, love, and joy through my work.
Because these come from God, they don't run out and don't get stale. As a result, I found I had a greater sense of wellness, more joy in my work, and less sense of pressure. And the work, both at home and on the job, got done.
The Bible points to this same solution. "Even the youths shall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall: but they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint" (Isa. 40:30, 31).
Mounting up like an eagle looks very attractive if you work in a windowless office as I do, and I find joy that I can do it even while I sit at my computer.
The Christ, the vast spiritual truth that we are divine ideas, inseparable from our inexhaustible source, God, reaches us when we are ready. With this touch of Truth, we are renewed, feel God's energy, and can run without weariness. This changes my sense of job to a higher mission, expressing God in ever fresh ways.
The Lord is my strength
and my shield;
my heart trusted in him,
and I am helped:
therefore my heart greatly rejoiceth; and with my song
will I praise him.