When I am tired – really, deeply, and truly tired – my decision making disappears. It is a casual moment of forgetfulness or ignorance. The whole process is wrong. Values and priorities are misplaced, reflection is absent, and worst of all, there is no logical process. With time I have found the most dangerous part of this problem is the lack of logic. Without logic, values sit idle on the side while relationships are ignored or damaged. Without logic, a sense of perspective doesn’t even come into play. Even compassion and mercy sit on the side without influence.
Ironically I assumed logic is the key. Be warned; without the companions of values and reflection, the best logic won’t make a difference. My experience gives birth to a stark warning; when you’re tired never assume you are thinking with any degree of clarity. You may be “logical” but there is no logic. Whatever processes one uses the steps in being present, taking decisions and actions, they are different. Tiredness finds its own companions.
The warning is beyond external relationships; our connection with Divinity is also at risk. In tiredness, I find myself taking actions to and with God I don’t recognize. An old warning is very timely; “even though you are very religious, planting all sorts of bushes and herbs and trees to honor and influence your fertility gods, and even though you make them grow so well, bursting with buds and sprouts and blossoms, nothing will come of them. Instead of a harvest you'll get nothing but grief and pain, pain, pain.” (Isaiah 17.10b, 11)
Tiredness cannot always be avoided. I’d like to suggest three guards that can help you when exhaustion shares your space.
First, be aware of the danger and the natural course of action.
Second, double up on reflection and staying in the presence of Divinity.
Third, until you are rested – move to and stay in “safe” places. Safe places are ones where your core values are affirmed and others are present to watch out for you (guards shielding you from the enemy).
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