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Avoiding Burnout

The day began at 5:15 a.m. - as a notorious night owl, who could give Dracula a run for his money, the two hours of sleep the night before was just enough to make the bathroom lights burn my eyes, like a laser. It didn’t matter! The rush of knowing I would be in the Rocky Mountains with my family in a mere 13 hours was enough motivation to keep my feet churning. Rainbow trout tugging on a fishing line, the smell of the pines, white waterfalls spewing mist off of rocks, purple skies hugging mountaintops, mule deer and elk prancing on the hillside, and the soothing sound of the Colorado River, whispering solitude and peace - I’ve soaked it all in before and knew how intoxicating Colorado would be. For me, there is no place on earth I would rather be than the mountains. It’s not just to escape the volcanic heat of Texas or to watch the aspen leaves dance in the breeze. More importantly, there is something about the skyline and setting that makes me feel closer to God. Staring at His creation gives me a glimpse into His mighty imagination and power. Watching sun-rays cast beams through the clouds and a platinum moon crest above a mountain peak, feels as complete as, putting an angel atop a Christmas tree.

Although I anticipated the sights, sounds and smells, I knew it was about more than just the beauty and amazement. I needed time with my wife and kids to reconnect from the daily grind of responsibility, work, stress and possible burn out. As a father and husband, I understand my greatest asset is my family. Since I fly more than a goose with Alzheimer’s, I know I need to give them more than a roof over their head or food on the table. They need my uninterrupted time and attention. What they need from me is the same thing I need from God.

I find through scripture that Jesus and His Father must have some pretty special feelings about the mountains as well. It was there God gave Moses the 10 commandments, revealed Himself to Elijah, met with Abraham and Isaac, rescued David and where Jesus transformed Himself in front of Peter, James and John. Jesus went so far as, to teach about a faith that is so true it could move mountains. My faith hasn’t yet moved mountains, but I can definitely say they have moved me.

Of the numerous occurrences that took place above sea level, one of the most revealing is the one from Luke 6:12. In the simple, concise verse, we learn that Jesus went alone in the mountains to pray and He prayed all night long. Jesus knew He needed to get away from the world to hear the one voice that mattered most. For Him, a place of seclusion wasn’t an option. If anyone was busy or could have had a multitude of excuses why He couldn’t slow down, it was Jesus. There was the sick, the diseased, the lost, and the possessed. Although His heart melted before their pain, He knew He couldn’t press on or give to others what He had not already gotten from His Father.

On other occasions, Jesus would escape from the crowds, not by himself, but with the small group of his 12 closest followers. It was a way for them to escape the pressures and stress of life and build the inner circle. For you and me this would be our family.

Why not follow Jesus' lead? Find your mountain! Discover your place where you can unplug from everyday living and plug into the eternal. After all, nothing should take the place of setting aside priority time to strengthen our most important relationships with our family and God.

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