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Those in leadership roles are most often already burning the candle at both ends. This constant being on the run results not only in physical fatigue, but also mental and spiritual fatigue. Fatigue is something that leaders must be careful to avoid, because when it comes, one’s leadership may not be in line with God’s guidance and will …

On a number of occasions I have joked with some of my retired friends that I am just like them. When they seem a little puzzled I say, “Well I get re-tired every day.” It’s a little (or a lot) corny, but contains a real element of truth.

As a baby boomer, I seem always to have lived my life in a rush. My generation was the first to find the world really open up in such an unimaginable way as far as options for how to spend one’s time.

Whatever options I have known have only increased for my children. Five years ago my family and I moved out of a major metropolitan area to a town we thought would lead us to a more calm and peaceful life. We literally moved to Mayberry (Mount Airy, N.C., is the hometown of Andy Griffith). Even in Mount Airy it is hard to imagine how our lives could be any busier.

From the time we get up in the morning (around 6:15 a.m.) to the time my wife and I go to bed (no earlier than 11:30 p.m.), we are literally on the run. With jobs, school drop-offs and pick-ups, civic clubs, volunteer work, children’s activities (we have three children ages 10-16) and church activities, we are on the go all day long.

A calendar scheduler on our home computer allows us to list all our activities. But an interesting thing happens many times when we make new entries. We get a message that says “appointment conflict warning.” In other words, we are regularly overbooked.

Because of our schedule, some of the essential activities of running a household ”grocery shopping, cleaning the house, yard work and repair and maintenance ”have to occur during what earlier generations counted as down time before going to bed. We are more likely to move to the bedroom to go to bed straight from the laundry room, rather than from the couch.

Although it is not epidemic in a strict medical sense, we face a crisis in this country. Many Americans suffer from sleep deprivation and the resulting fatigue. Most sleep studies indicate that the optimal amount of sleep for a median age adult is 7 1/2 hours. Many adults average less than 6 1/2 hours of sleep. This means that during the course of one week, many of us lose one night of sleep our bodies need to function as God designed.

Those in leadership roles are most often already burning the candle at both ends. This constant being on the run results not only in physical fatigue, but also mental and spiritual fatigue. Fatigue is something that leaders must be careful to avoid, because when it comes, one’s leadership may not be in line with God’s guidance and will ¦

Wayne Hager is pastor of Calvary Baptist Church in Mount Airy, N.C.

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