“I’m tired,” is a statement I most commonly hear in the workplace. But we say “I’m tired” even after eating a heavy meal, after a lengthy discussion, after a rigorous sporting activity, an exam, a report, and even after being caught in a seemingly frozen traffic. Exhaustion oftentimes is a result of having spent too much of something on a certain activity. Like “exhausts” are escaping steam or gas produced from overheated engines necessary to keep the air pressure at a tolerable level to avoid explosion or burning, so is a little respite after a tiring undertaking.
When people say, “I’m tired”, we normally associate it to painstaking tasks where too much of our energy is spent perhaps after gardening, drilling, carpentry, or even after a long walk from school to home (when we have spent our fare intended for commuting to snacks). Quite oddly, it overshadows the fact that we inadvertently blurt out “I’m tired” even after immobile activities like watching TV, hours of listening to a ranting person, sitting in a car which is caught in a traffic, or just waiting for somebody who seemingly has no plans of showing up.
Tiredness is part of life. Although teachings on Optimism convey that it is only a state of the mind, I believe it is inevitable and normal. Our bodies like machines degenerate and will need some rest from time to time. Jesus, being the archetype of human character, himself rests when he can. He sleeps (Mark 4:35-41), withdraws from the crowd after hearing a stressful news (Matthew 14:13), seeks privacy by going to quiet places alone (Matthew 14:22-23), and eats with his disciples (Matthew 26:17).
Our Creator knows that we have limitations and that we need to struggle to survive. He knew it when he spoke the verdict to Adam and Eve when they sinned in the garden reaping for themselves corruptibility and the punishment to struggle, experience pain and toil to survive (Genesis 3). Nevertheless, our God who is full of compassion desires for us to be restored from that day of Man’s fall. He promised abundance and the security of eternity. Just as he provides avenues and various ways for the physical man to find respite, He too offered rest for the spiritual man. Thus Jesus words,
Matthew 11:28-30 (NIV)
“Come to me, all of you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”
I hope this writing is adequate to keep us human enough to admit that we can indeed grow tired but spiritual enough to believe that there is hope of revival, restoration, and respite in the Lord. Saying “I’m tired” shouldn’t make us guilty. Instead, it should keep us humble enough to acknowledge our need of God’s constant sustenance and to remind ourselves of his salvation. You and I deserve ample rest. It is God’s program (Genesis 2:2). How can we perform to our utmost if our body is weary? How then could we offer the best to the Master if our spirit resides in a frail frame? Strike a balance. Toil
enough and rest enough. Give your best care to your body, which is the temple of the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 6:19).
Note that this is not written to discriminate and say little to those who have been born or who has acquired physical abnormalities. Not even intended to claim against those who have acquired defects or who are presently sick. In fact, the principle remains the same. Only the circumstance is different. The motivation to achieve, the push to be mindful of our health, and the intent to live a lifestyle of balance (work and rest) is a call made for everyone regardless of our present disposition. It is tolerant enough to allow us to say, “I’m tired. I need rest” but strong enough in the resolve to fight against complacency (over resting), self-pity (hopelessness), laziness or indolence.