A young man came into the conference just as it was beginning.
He made his way to an empty chair on the back row. A person seated to his left was a part of the institution hosting the event. My friend whispered “hello” and smiled at the man. The man did not return the smile. Instead, he mumbled something and then got up from his chair and sat in another chair in another part of the room.
My friend was baffled. This particular conference is held every year to encourage those who work with congregations. They invest a lot of money in this event. They work hard and diligently to make sure that everything is just right for those who are coming to their campus.
Yet, what one man came away remembering from his first evening at the event is that a man representing the institution left his chair and sat elsewhere.
We may forget at times just how weary many people are. A simple smile and hello goes a long way.
I am not sure what creates weariness. I do know what contributes to it. Life (and everyday ministry) often contributes to much of our weariness:
- Weariness can come when you feel taken for granted and unappreciated at home or at work.
- Weariness can come from being present during the long slow death of someone in your family or church.
- Weariness can come when you regularly deal with a manipulator or immature person.
- Weariness can come when you have been praying that a friend from work would visit your church and then no one speaks to her on the morning she comes.
- Weariness can come from disappointment in your marriage, with your children, or perhaps with life in general.
Are you weary?
If you are weary, don’t wait for circumstances to change. Don’t simply wish that your life was different. Don’t spend your energy saying “If only.” Instead, decide to take action. Decide that you will do something to add strength and energy back into your life again.
One of the best antidotes to weariness is to begin by taking the first step toward replenishment. That has to be done on purpose. Yes, it is hard when you are weary. However, taking a first step toward replenishment sure beats passivity.