It’s been a week of “First World Tired” for me. Not true tired, but the easier kind. A good week, but a busy one. Saturday was a trip to Oregon from here in Nashville, and cross-country travel is always a battle for me.
Saturday night, a dinner with new friends in Oregon, then “hotel sleep” which is never “real sleep.”
Sunday morning, church; which isn’t tiring but I’ve never been in this town before and meeting new people means more energy. No biggie.
Sunday evening, speaking at a fundraising dinner (always fun, but several hours of meeting, greeting and focus). Monday morning? Speaking to pastors at a breakfast, then off to the airport and back to Nashville. My 9:30 bedtime shifted to 11:30.
Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday were “normal busy”–but I realized I haven’t had a shut down day for a couple of weeks now. So last night–Thursday night–as we had a group at the house talking about ideas for the future of this web site, I hit the “First World Tired Wall.” I was just beat.
It’s a “First World Tired,” because my “tired” does not compare to the exhaustion so many others face. Not even close. Some reading this will tell me, “Cry me a river, buddy. Do you have any idea what I’ve been doing the last few weeks, months and years?” And they would be right. Hopefully I would be smart enough to shut my mouth, reminded that if we wish to compare, my little world is hardly a difficult one.
Still, let’s be real. I was worn out. I knew my “Mr. Grumpy” was about to show up because all I could think of was getting to bed, opening a book for a few minutes and knocking off.
Then as our meeting wound to a close, one in our group said, “Do we need to pray?”
We don’t do those, “Thank you Lord and goodnight” prayers. We take some time when we pray. Not hours, but not 45 seconds and out the door, either.
Suddenly I had competing thoughts in my mind, like the cartoons where the devil is on one shoulder and the angel is on the other.
The little red character with the horns whispered to me, “We’ve talked to God enough lately; he’s probably tired of listening. Let’s get some shuteye.”
I want to tell you my faith is so strong I resisted this urge and said, “Group, we must pray and with fervency! Let us pour our hearts out before the Lord until we’ve broken through every barrier and found his powerful presence among us!”
But I didn’t. I found some middle ground however, muttering “Why not?” For me, this was as close as I could get to a resounding, “Yes!”
We prayed. I didn’t fall asleep, which was a small victory. And, I actually heard some things from the Lord in the process.
This was a reminder; helping me see we’re not always at our best and Jesus–the one we follow–is patient as we grow. As he shapes us and draws us into the same relationship he has with his father, we’re not going to be 100% on the money every day.
It’s all a process, a process where the goal is simply the next step.
For me, the next step is to be 1 percent more focused on the things of God . . . today. If I can accomplish this, there’s another step to take tomorrow. And, another the day after.
A life of faith isn’t complicated. It’s just about making choices which build our trust in God. Sometimes the choices are small (just stay awake and focused for fifteen minutes, Kirk). Other times choices are extremely big–as with this 1st Faith endeavor.
Whether they are small or large, I’ve got to ask, “Which choices will I make today which help me grow? Which choices can make my faith–even just a little–stronger?”
Simple stuff. Last night, I’m glad I stayed awake just a few minutes longer.