Monday Motivation: Burnout

Friends

I adore Christmas lights. I never fail to smile as I turn on the multi-colored lights of my Christmas tree. I love to ride around at night and check out the light displays around town. It’s so festive. It’s so fun! It just makes you feel good, doesn’t it?

 

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When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”

John 8:12 –  NIV

 

I turned on the lights, and nothing happened. My mantle remained in darkness, my holiday garland looking  dull without its merry twinkling lights. Knowing I would have to make a trip to the store for another set of lights, I sighed deeply and then moved on with my decorating tasks.

 

On the front porch, I hung my Christmas wreaths and attached my sprays of greenery to the white wrought iron railing. The bright red bows fluttered playfully in the light breeze, giving my spirits a lift. With a smile on my lips, I moved toward the small evergreens nestled in the black pots beside my front door. Grabbing a string of small white lights, I wrapped the first bush with lights and then the other. Not having the extension cord handy, I couldn’t plug in the lights just yet, but everything looked festive, and I moved on with a spring in my step.

 

As dusk approached, Eric brought out the extension cord and plugged in the strings of white lights. Nothing happened. No lights yet again.

 

“What?” I cried out in frustration. “I can’t believe this! Where are my lights?”

 

My cheeery lights, once merry and bright, were now burned out, their beauty now absent, their welcome glow extinguished. Try as I might, I could not bring them back to life. They were done. Their usefulness was at its end.

 

Frowning at my dark mantle, I wondered. Is that what happens to us? Do we as Christians suffer from burnout? Do we begin with the best of intentions, but then over time, lose our glow? Do we get overwhelmed by the needs of others, and gradually  give up? Perhaps we keep trudging on with our good deeds only to find that our hearts are no longer in the effort. Are we too worn down by the woes of the world to let our light shine? Do we hide our light under a bushel as the old children’s song goes?

 

Sometimes, for me, the answer is yes. Sometimes, I feel the pang of burnout. I know I need to keep going, to do more, but my motivation fizzles. My stamina becomes stymied. It’s easier to give into complacency. It’s easier to let someone else carry the torch.

 

But that’s not the right answer. That’s not the right choice.

 

“Hide it under a bushel, NO! I’m gonna let it shine…”

 

Jesus came to be the light of the world. As His followers, we are called to receive His light and spread it to others. I am but one light in a long strand of lights. Other lights may be burning, but if I fail to shine, I impact the whole strand. My burnout can become contagious, stealing the much needed light, destroying the beauty that our combined efforts might have offered.

 

 Every light matters. Each and every light affects the health of the whole strand. Together, we can burn brighter, bringing warmth and light to a world mired in dark despair.

 

“This little light of mine, I’m gonna let it shine…”

 

Friends, this world is filled with darkness. It so needs our light. It needs our smiles, our words of encouragement, our good deeds. It needs the message of hope that can only be found in the light of Jesus Christ. How will the world see the light if we don’t let it shine? How will things ever be better if we don’t rise up and spread the GoodNews? How will they know Jesus if they don’t see Him in us?

 

“Let it shine till Jesus comes, I’m gonna let it shine…”

I bought new lights. My mantle is now burning brightly, bringing a cheery glow to my kitchen. Each evening, a spotlight shines on my decorated front porch, and  the twinkling white lights on my little evergreen bushes add a touch of holiday sparkle.

 

The lights at my house are glowing, both inside and out. May it be so with me and also with you.  Let us together form a shimmering strand of light that glows for all the world to see.

 

Let the Light of His Love shine. Let it shine, let it shine, let it shine!

 

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 “You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden.  Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house.  In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.

Matthew 5:14-16 – NIV

 

PRAYER

O Lord Jesus, You came to bring us Your Light. You are the light that shines in the darkness, the light that cannot be extinguished. In Your Light, we find Your Love, Your Peace, Your Joy, Your Hope. O Lord, let Your Light shine in us that all the world might see.,

In the Shining Name of Jesus, we pray,

Amen

 

Advent Blessings,

Anita

 

-APS 12/6/2021

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