by Stacy Orr
There were moments early last week when I felt tired…like soul tired. I kept describing this feeling to people as a “Corona Slump”. You see, several weeks ago our lives were altered. In a moment, and a number of moments after, we were first told that we should stay home, and the work world changed. Of course, the rest of the world changed too, but the change I initially experienced was mostly attributed to my work.
I felt tired…like soul tired.
Many of us across the county, the state, and the nation had to figure out new ways of doing the work we were charged to do. Leaders, all over, used their resourcefulness and dug down deep to discover new ways to lead in a rapidly changing environment. The phrase “necessity is the mother of invention” led many people to work together to figure out how we could send our work forces home and still be productive. Decisions were being made at break-neck speeds and would change just as quickly as the next wave of information washed over us.
Decisions were being made at break-neck speeds and would change just as quickly.
I found myself working at a frenzied pace, yet I had sufficient energy and flexibility to move forward and lead. It was as if doing something new, even though it was extremely hard, had the same effect as a long sugar high. I had lots adrenaline coursing through my body. Fast forward to last week. Changes were still occurring, but they were slower, people still needed to talk, but there were less needs, and my work started to shift back to pre-virus projects. It was in this moment that my sugar high sub-sided and I felt a wave of exhaustion hit.
These questions popped into my head:
- What do I do now?
- Do people still need me to lead in the same way?
- Am I annoying people with my constant communication?
- Is this the “new normal”?
As I was asking these questions, I found myself pulling back a bit from my team. I found my productivity decreasing. I found my heart heavy. Then I heard the phrase “look up” from the worship song that was playing in my car. And…as God loves to do, another song followed that was based upon the same Psalm, Psalm 121 which says:
I look up to the mountains—
does my help come from there?
My help comes from the Lord,
who made heaven and earth!
He will not let you stumble;
the one who watches over you will not slumber.
Indeed, he who watches over Israel
never slumbers or sleeps.
The Lord himself watches over you!
The Lord stands beside you as your protective shade.
The sun will not harm you by day,
nor the moon at night.
The Lord keeps you from all harm
and watches over your life.
The Lord keeps watch over you as you come and go, both now and forever.
I know God has much more to reveal to me about the link between my “Corona Slump” and this Psalm, but initially God simply asked me to make a shift. The questions in my head were self-focused, and He was challenging me to ask God-focused questions. You see I can’t offer true help to the team that I lead. I can and should show up and offer words of encouragement, but true help comes from the Lord and we can find this help, when we look up. When I stopped to look up these were the questions I began to ask:
- What can I do to point people to Jesus?
- What does that look like in the workplace?
- How do I help God lead me here so that I can lead others?
- Should life with God ever be normal?
God simply asked me to make a shift.
Have you ever tried to lift your head really high and look up while trying to run really fast? Don’t do it…it’s a disaster waiting to happen. But, think about it for a moment, we can’t run forward at hyper-speed while looking up. We will get hurt and ultimately be prevented from reaching our intended destination because we will fall. Instead, before we run into our workplaces to help, we need to stop and look up. Our help comes from the Lord, the maker of heaven and earth. The Lord watches over us as we come and go. He also watches over the people we are leading. Life with God is not normal, it is supernatural. As I look up to Him, He prepares my heart and my mind for the race that is in front of me. In order to lead well, I have to be led. In order to be led, I have to look up.
In order to be led, I have to look up.
A co-worker mentioned to me recently that this season is a marathon not a sprint. Have you been sprinting? If so, I encourage you, stop, take a break, and Look Up. His help is near and it is better than any sugar high. My help comes from the Lord and so does yours. As He protects you from stumbling, He will enable you to point others in the right direction. He will allow you the rest that you need to keep running this marathon with your eyes firmly fixed on the source of your strength.