Within the span of a few hours, three separate items appeared on my desk.
- The first was a New Yorker cartoon featuring the inside of a house that looked like it had been ransacked, and the smiling person at the door welcoming guests saying: “Come on in, sorry about the mess – we’re just in the middle of not caring anymore”.
- The second was a blog post by Carey Nieuhow that was entitled: “Fear isn’t keeping them home, it’s indifference (why church attendance has plummeted).”
- The third was an article by Justin Henderson, PhD in which he proposed that the antidote to burnout was not self-care but addressing the root causes.
What do these three things have in common, other than their proximity to other files on my desk?
Not caring. Indifference. Burned out… and not due to lack of self-care but due to systemic issues built into our workplaces (and churches).
This is your friendly reminder that
- this is a cycle that happens during disasters and that there will be an upswing. You can’t work your way through this. Breathe.
- that there are things beyond our control, and the first step toward wholeness is recognizing this. The second step is to step back and breathe.
- It is time to stop blaming yourself (your partner, your children, your pastor, any of the folks you’ve “othered” over the past two years) for feeling overwhelmed and without energy.
Although I don’t know what is around the corner – I do know that when the energy returns we can choose to build something different. I’m not sure what that looks like for you, but perhaps it includes more balanced relationships, compassion-centered workplaces (including churches), and time spent with those people who bring us joy.
We will find our passion again.
I pray that when we do, we use it in a way that creates something kinder and more just than what we left behind two years ago.
Prayers for us all.