By mid-June, I knew I was in trouble. I told my wife and I told my staff I was in dangerous territory. I hadn’t done anything wrong. I possessed no wrong motives but circumstances around me since the beginning of 2018 were choking me physically, emotionally, and most importantly spiritually. They had been more than I could handle. At times, it felt trouble was all around. Nothing was going as it should have and it all culminated around mid-May. By this time, I was dying inside.
I knew I had to get away yet, I still had work and responsibilities. I needed to be around so I understood the technical times we live, loaded my mobile office (my RV), and went to my “North Atlanta” office located in the North Georgia mountains. Not once nor twice but four times I scheduled time away in June. My official vacation was not until mid-July but I knew I had to go.
I worked (and worked hard) and yet found time to spend doing meaningless, mindless, leisure activities. I learned fly fishing. I hiked and saw several waterfalls. I ate lots of ice cream. I visited bookstores and antique shops. I took a train with two of my kids through the mountains. There is no traffic in the rural mountains so I drove around a lot to view the countryside.
As much as I enjoyed it, it took off some of the levels of stress I had been under but it didn’t demolish it. I didn’t realize how much until a few weeks later towards the end of my vacation.
I loaded the RV for our annual summer vacation which usually always takes place in July. The rest I had in June allowed me to enjoy really resting in July. Instead of an opulent yet arduous RV vacation which we had planned to Niagara Falls, I shared with Karen how I wasn’t up to going that far. The RV driving would stress me out this year.
We opted for the Georgia coast for 10 days of rest. Georgia’s coast is one of my favorite places to travel because the beaches are not as popular as Florida’s or the Carolina’s. They are not always packed and are a few hours away from Atlanta. The proximity, as well as the simplicity, was what was needed.
We spent five days on Georgia’s southern coastal area. The other five days were spent near Savannah. As we were ending our vacation, Karen suggested we spend four more days in a coastal town on the other side of Savannah which we had visited while touring the area. I was reluctant – very reluctant. I wanted to go home. I wanted to get back to work.
By this time, I had a fresh and renewed vision. Restoration had come. I had been sending my team unending messages and truthfully were driving them crazy. I was ready and raring to go. In the meantime, my wife needed more time as well. The demands of her job needed to be silenced by rest.
I opened my phone and what spoke to me was my screenshot which has been on my phone all year long. It is my year’s mantra. I write about this year’s mantra here. I was ready but my mantra, Ruthlessly Eliminate Hurry, screamed at me slow down to a crawl one more time, spend time with the ones I love, and rest. Simply, rest.
Those four days were like the cherry on top of a cake. They sealed and secured the rest needed to go back home and be fully healthy. I can’t explain it. I can’t put it into words but those four days took me from healthy to optimal health.
It has been a long time since I experienced burn out. As I look back on it, it appears total collapse wasn’t out of the question for my future if I kept going like I was going. I knew to get healthy I needed to take a step back, rest, and allow God to be able to speak into me and He and I renew our relationship. I also knew I needed to restore some health to my relationship with my wife, my kids, and myself too.
If this story sounds too familiar and your soul is screaming to escape, take action now before it is too late. Revive your soul again with the things which make your soul tick and be renewed. Seek after the rest God desires for our minds, our bodies, and our soul and discover a newness again. Ruthlessly eliminate your hurry beginning today.
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