“I’m so tired!” I hear this phrase or its sibling, “I’m sick and tired!” at some point in almost every conversation I am engaged in these days (and it’s not me stating it). Admittedly, I too, have uttered one of these two phrases more so in the last six months than the previous six years. Join along with me: I am so tired of this COVID mess … I am so sick and tired of politics. I am so tired of doing school online. I am sick and tired of having to be a work-at-home parent and teacher. We could go on, but I am limited to the number of words in my column.
Not only does it lead to frustration and often giving into our vices (or taking up new ones), this definitely leads to being “tired” or “weary.” People tend to act out in ways they normally wouldn’t when they are weary. People who normally seem so calm, cool and collected can blow up like the July 24, 1905 Humble Oil fire. They lash out at friend and foe alike. Then, the guilt and shame only add to the weariness already felt. So, let me share a few possible helps.
First, admit that you are weary. It is amazing what we can overcome when we lean into those moments of self-awareness and clarity. Most of us, once we know the problem, can begin to formulate strategies to combat a multitude of issues. There are times, however, when you need the help of a friend or professional. There are times we are so weary and exhausted, we are not capable of marshaling enough personal resources to overcome. Which leads to my second help.
You have to remain connected with others. The worst thing we can do is try to go it alone. I know this is what we are seemingly being asked to do, but social distancing and being isolated are two different prescriptions. Pick up your phone or talk to your neighbor from the driveway. When I was a kid, my best friend lived next door. If we couldn’t go outside, we would go to our respective bathrooms and raise the windows; they were directly across from one another, and we could go on and on (until someone needed the facilities). Social media, Zoom or other connecting possibilities can be helpful but “in person” is best.
Finally, don’t give up. I want to repeat what I wrote earlier about reaching out to a friend or professional if you feel like giving up, but also never give up on your faith. In the Bible, the Apostle Paul writes to the church of Galatia, “And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up” (Galatians 6:9). Remember God is with you: past, present and future. Knowing this also helps the hope erosion that weariness can bring on.
Friends, I’m sick and tired … but I will trust in the relationships I have built and trust in the Lord for: “He gives power to the weak and strength to the powerless. Even youths will become weak and tired, and young men will fall in exhaustion. But those who trust in the Lord will find new strength. They will soar high on wings like eagles. They will run and not grow weary. They will walk and not faint” (Isaiah 40:29-31). I know I will be refreshed.