Overcoming the Burnout Factor

Posted by Marc Schwichtenberg, Lead Pastor on

Every year I begin the what-is-supposed-to-be-happy task of taking out and stringing the Christmas lights in and around our home. I have already located the big red and green plastic bin in the basement that contains what I need…but like every other year I anticipate it will not go well. I am already anticipating the frustration. Funny thing since it is meant to be a joyful event. It is always frustrating because of the burn out factor: It always amazes me that strings of lights that worked perfectly just a few months ago (when I finally got around to taking them down in June), no longer are capable of doing what they are intended and designed to do.

Whether because of corrosion, mishandling or simply by reaching their capacity, they burn out and cease to be able to give light.

Add to that, I think of the number of times I have decorated our fresh-cut tree with perfectly working lights only to have them burn out just a couple days before Christmas. Yep, the burnout factor has knocked a few fa-la-lahs out of many a Christmas…and not just with lights: Every year at this time it seems to happen to people too.

We enter a season meant to be a happy time filled with holiday cheer. Weeks packed full of great food, great parties, great family and friends, anticipated great joy and contentment. And then it happens. Our expectations are dashed. We become overwhelmed and disappointed. What seemed like a great idea a few months ago suddenly goes south. The Christmas burn out factor sets in.

My guess is that you too may know this experience far too well?

To make matters worse, we as people, unlike new Christmas light string technology, do not have the ability to simply burn out without affecting those around us. Like older light strings, when one bulb stops working an entire string may also fail to function properly. Family and work place dynamics are very much affected by the burn out factor.

So what can you do to prevent it? It’s actually a lot easier than you think.

Imagine what could happen if you took all of that energy that you’ve spent reaching for that dusty box of decorations in the basement, or heading off to get caught in the traffic of the mall parking lot, or buying hundreds of stamps for the cards you intended to send out, and instead take a few moments to open your Bible. That’s right open it and begin by reading Isaiah 60:1-5, and then try John 1:1-14, and last of all, how about John 8:12.
I know what your thinking…”I don’t have time to get my Bible out”…but isn’t that a symptom of the problem?

Not to give anything away, but as you’ll see, (hint: that is, if you open your Bible) God has a great promise for us who are on the edge of burn out. What I’m saying is, why experience all the frustration and pain of burn out when our God freely invites us through His renewing presence to burn on through the power and light He provides and creates. It’s like getting all new Christmas lights this year...a lot less frustrating and a lot more fun than sorting through that tangled mess in that old box in your basement!

In Jesus I am Yours,

Marc Schwichtenberg
Senior Pastor



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