Be Inspired, Not Tired

By Linda Tancs

How energized are you? Do you feel like the tortoise—or the hare? If your answer is the tortoise, know that you’re in good company. Recent studies show that, among other factors, stress and social media are taking a toll on energy levels. It’s disheartening, especially considering that Scripture exhorts us to begin each day with zeal and enthusiasm (Romans 12:11).

So how do you put some zest back into life? For starters, it doesn’t hurt to get inspired. As the literary figure Goethe allegedly said, “Whatever you can do, or dream you can, begin it.” What are you dreaming about? What did you dream about as a kid? What do other people think you’re good at? Do you have a hobby? Another tactic for zeal is gratitude, something encouraged in the Bible (Colossians 3:15; 1 Thessalonians 2:13; Hebrews 12:2-3). Jesus likewise encourages you to give your tired mind, body or soul to Him for refreshment (Matthew 11:28-30). Don’t be tired; get inspired.

 

Rest is Not Idleness

By Linda Tancs

As you run about your day like the Energizer Bunny on steroids trying to juggle life and work, remember that the human body is not designed to run 24/7. It’s essential to have balance in work and life, which is all the more trying these days—especially for employees who are so often asked to do more with less. And add to that the vague notion that rest is idleness and you end up with needless stress and anxiety.

What does the Bible say about rest? You don’t have to read far to get an answer. God established the principle by resting on the seventh day following creation (Genesis 2:2). Exodus 33:14 reminds us that when we place our trust in God, He will give us rest. Jesus reminded his followers of the same thing in Matthew 11:28. Why is rest such an important biblical concept? Because it engenders faith, which allows us room to focus on aligning ourselves with God’s mission for our lives. And that creates peace.

Rest is a biblical weapon to combat stress and anxiety. So how do you incorporate a sense of balance? First, you need to determine the value you place on every aspect of your life: work, emotional growth, friends, family, hobbies, health and fitness, finances, intellectual growth, spirituality and so on. Rate each aspect on a scale from 1 to 10 (10 being the highest value). A sense of imbalance often evolves from a feeling that one’s values are out of sync with daily living. How much do you incorporate your highest rated value(s) into the life you’re living? Next, determine the resources you need to close the gap between your highest values ratings and the space that any such activity actually occupies in your life. Are you lacking a “team” resource—a supportive partner, an extra hand at work, an au pair, a counselor, etc.? Or perhaps you need more material resources like a daily planner, better technology, or training materials, to name a few. Once you’ve determined the resources you need, sit down and write out an action plan to optimize those resources. List each resource and your goal with respect to acquiring or optimizing it. Determine a realistic timeline for each goal. Finally, consider how you’ll know whether the goal has been achieved. What will success look like? Revisit your plan often to gauge how your values jibe with your current life circumstances.