Monday, August 14, 2023

Give Up On Weariness

Have you ever returned from a backpacking trip, sweaty, dirty and tired? You arrive back at the parking lot where you started, and there are all these clean people getting ready to set out. Their packs are trim and tidy, their boots aren’t muddy and they’re talking together excitedly. You try not to, but you kind of strut past them, wearing your dirt, your smell and your tired limbs like badges of honour. You’ve done it! These new guys have no idea what’s coming. You’re tired, but you’ve earned it!

I hope you feel that way right now: sweaty, trail-stained and tired—but wearing it like a medal. Three-quarters of the way into a summer of camp ministry, you are all veterans now, even if this is your first summer. Go ahead, strut a little!


But there is another kind of tired that I hope you’re not: the kind that’s not just tired, but tired of. Tired of late nights and early mornings. Tired of campers who don’t listen, a bunkmate who snores and maybe even camp food. This kind of tiredness is called “weariness,” and it’s a killer: it chokes motivation, dissolves empathy and derails good intentions.


Weariness is like that pair of shoes mom always threatens to throw away because they are so worn out and ugly. But so darn comfortable too. You can wallow in weariness and not realize it’s draining the life out of you. I wish tiredness on you, because you’ve earned it, but I would never wish weariness on you. Neither does God. His word says it straight out: “Don’t become weary of doing good...” Then it tells you why: “…because, at the proper time, you will reap a harvest, if you don’t give up” (Galatians 6:9).


The cool thing about a harvest is that it’s not one of those “you will get out of it only what you put into it” kinds of things. If you plant a bushel of wheat and—come harvest time—you gather only a bushel of wheat, you’re not much of a farmer. Whatever you plant, you should expect many times as much in return.


Here is how to defeat weariness! Look up and see the harvest that’s happening all around you. Every little act of kindness toward a camper produces something new and astonishing. Every frustration you have put up with was well worth the trouble. That’s because God takes everything we offer him and grows it into something much bigger and better.


So don’t give up! Instead, give up on weariness and embrace your tiredness. The return on your investment will be worth every effort made in Jesus’ name. Take time today to strut a little.

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