Travelling half way around the world on a non-stop flight creates a certain type of jetlag. As much as one sleeps, one arrives mentally and physically exhausted. One has little connection to the normal cycles of a day. Sunrise and sunset have almost no meaning. This isn’t the first time I have gotten into this situation. As I travelling east to west, north to south, the impact is the same. One arrives drained. Even if one takes the precautions of rest, plenty of water, and avoiding any spicy or stimulating. One’s body pays a price. Your mind is dull. Your immune system is sluggish. Everything operates at a sub-par level. It is as if one has paid a personal energy tax.
Ironically, if one lives on the edge the impact is the same. Push the envelope, getting things done at the cost of one’s sleep, and your life energy pays a price. Going beyond the call of duty, achieving the stretch goals, scaling unimaginable heights, all takes a piece of one’s life. As the decades fade, I now realize I have paid something that is beyond measure. Was it really worth it?
The question, while interesting from a learning perspective, is frankly not relevant. The question is the moment at hand. Have I so exhausted myself that I am unable to respond to the opportunities at hand? Do I so firmly attach my priorities to the future that I cannot muster the energy to see the beauty and awe in the present? Have I given my life energy to everything other than the step I taking?
The sad answer is perhaps. The good news is that there is an answer, if I am willing to accept Hope’s hand. “He energizes those who get tired, gives fresh strength to dropouts. For even young people tire and drop out, young folk in their prime stumble and fall. But those who wait upon God get fresh strength. They spread their wings and soar like eagles, they run and don't get tired, they walk and don't lag behind.” (Isaiah 40.29-31)
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