Devotion – October 17
“Covid fatigue.” “Zoom fatigue.” “Mask fatigue.”
We’re hearing a lot about “fatigue” as of late and there is a reason why ... we’re fatigued! We are exhausted by everything that is happening right now. We are tired of dealing with Covid-19. We are tired of wearing masks, distancing, and have our once normal routine so dramatically changed. As one person told me, “I’m tired of being tired.”
The dictionary definition of fatigue is this: 1. Extreme tiredness resulting from mental or physical exertion or illness. 2. Weakness in materials, especially metal, caused by repeated variations of stress.
I know off hand we don’t think the second definition applies to us, but it does. When we get weakened by the stress, anxiety and depression that fatigue can cause, we become weak in other ways of our lives. We find ourselves too weak to get to worship (even if it’s on YouTube). We get too weak to take care of our bodies, so we remain on the couch. We become too weak to eat well. Also, in this weakness, we can fall prey to unhealthy actions and behaviors. Suicide is on the rise. Mental health is on the wane. It is no surprise that drug related deaths have increased along with an unusually high increase in alcohol consumption. People are engaging in socially dangerous activities: not distancing, not wearing masks, and gathering in large crowds.
I get the fatigue, because I too am fatigued. As I pastor, I am so tired of not being able to pastor the way I want to, the way you deserve to be. I’m tired of not knowing what to do, what to think, where to go for answers. I’m tired too.
I went to a zoom meeting held for pastors and health care workers. In the conversation one statistic startled me. Of all pastors (regardless of denomination) who planned on retiring in the next three to five years, 40% have now turned in, or are currently working on getting their retirement papers in order. They are fatigued; their metal fortitude has given out. They are weakened to the point of throwing the towel in.
So, what do we do with all this fatigue?
The answer is first of all to accept it.
Next, we need to do things that strengthen us in both body and soul. Get back to exercising, eat better, dress up in some nice cloths even if no one is around to see you (and yes that goes for all of you who wear nice tops and sweat pants or shorts for Zoom meetings – and yes, I’m guilty, too).
A third things we need to do is to take care of our souls. Open your Bible and begin reading one of the Gospels. Let God speak to you through the Scripture and also through other Christian reading. Pray to God – and when you do, be honest. It’s okay to lament your frustrations and say you are tired and angry. Share everything with God and then rest in silence and in time, Jesus will speak to you in one way or the other.
Talk to people. Give me a call. Call a close friend or a spiritual friend and tell them how you are feeling. We all have to vent our tiredness.
And finally trust God. God will get us through this. Rest in your faith, and share your faith. Let people know in craziness of the time, there is a firm foundation to stand on. Share Jesus.
~ God bless, Dan
P.S. Please either attend church this weekend via YouTube (type in Pastor Dan Bohlman) or at our churches (Yellowstone 9:00 a.m. Argyle-Apple Grove 11:00 at Apple Grove). We are having a service of Lament. A lament is a way of expressing sorrow, grief and frustration to the Lord and trusting God will help us.
The sermon will be looking specifically at how difficult Covid-19 has been to our bodies and souls, and how God is calling us to take care of ourselves and one another during this time.