Give me your tired…
The most common words we think of when we consider the Statue of Liberty. You know, that bronze gifted monument that sits on Bedloe’s Island in New York Harbor. Since 1885, we have known these words:
“Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”
These are the ending words of a short poem, “The New Colossus”, by Emma Lazarus (1849-1887). It was written near to the ending of her short life in 1883 and placed on a bronze plaque inside the lower level of the pedestal of the Statue of Liberty.
But what if you are more than tired. Tired might mean you simply need some sleep, or it might mean you feel exhaustion due to exertion. There is a better word that denotes your level of tiredness, and I’ve mentioned it already…
Think about any automobile engine you’ve been around. This image is of an engine from a 1966 Pontiac GTO that is probably past its prime! But off the sides of the engine come an exhaust system that funnels through a tailpipe, following a convoluted path to the back end of the car so as to not let the poisons pollute the car where the humans ride. It’s a noisy process and there is a muffler to muffle the sound. You get an idea of all the energy it took to cause the engine to combust and burn the fuel provided. The exhaust spews the left over, and with most of our senses we see it no more.
Exhaustion can be construed as what’s left over and is soon gone… In order to continue on, the engine must continually be reloaded with fresh fuel. To become exhausted means you “use up” what you have. To overcome exhaustion, you need to restore your fuel.
Restoration overcomes exhaustion.
Where does that restorative power come from? Some say vacation! (I call them vaccinations…and I enjoy the shot!) Others need to sleep more hours than I can comprehend and it seems to be after several days of this “rest” they are revitalized. (Not for me!)
You may find restorative powers from many sources,
and these are the fuels of the engine of your life.
But think back to that engine for a moment. It needs many types of “fuels” to function. Not only in its initial creation, but also in its continued success. Oils to lubricate and reduce friction; fluids to flow, create pressure and bleed off excessive heat; oxygen as the ultimate mixture for combustion; fuel for creating that explosion that turns the engine over and over… Finally, we need the spark from an electrical source to ignite and start the engine.
All combined into a single experience to make the engine function.
Over the past few days I have felt the tiredness of mind, body, soul and spirit. I’ve approached exhaustion many times, so I’ve learned the unique elements required to restore all portions of life. My mind needs to quit thinking about all the stuff that happens. My body needs appropriate down time in order to restore itself. Pressure needs to bled off. Fuels needs to be obtained. And that power source needs to be revitalize this will cause ignition at the proper time!
How do you go about pulling all the pieces together to restore yourself?
With my mind its easy…Quit thinking about all the things that I fill it up with. Those busy tasks, important duties, and the worries that stay with you all day long. Instead, I fill my mind up with pleasant quiet. In these day, my drives are often my silent times. It’s very restorative to think of no one, and nothing, during those long hours of trip.
With my body, of course, it’s relative easy to refuel with energy and rest that every one of us need.
I turn to it often, but King David gives me that key to the puzzle of restorative power. As a young and upcoming future King, he was much favored by the current king, Saul.
And so it was, whenever the spirit from God was upon Saul, that David would take a harp and play it with his hand. Then Saul would become refreshed and well, and the distressing spirit would depart from him. (1 Samuel 16:23 NKJV)
Saul needed someone he loved and trusted to be the source of refreshing power. Later he would attempt to kill David and no longer trust him, but for now it was exactly who he needed.
You need someone with you to help give you restorative power. That’s my spouse. We restore each other. Between work, career, ministry, family, friends, finances, home, life, living and all the other things we stress over, we find small nuggets of time to restore individually and collectively. But when we both need it at the same time, then we start looking for a near future event when we can feel like we are in control and not the rest of life. Ahhaaa… That’s restorative!
In the midst of all these thoughts, we must not forget that God gives us restoration when life offers none.
A Psalm Of David. Bless the LORD, O my soul; And all that is within me, bless His holy name! Bless the LORD, O my soul, And forget not all His benefits: Who forgives all your iniquities, Who heals all your diseases, Who redeems your life from destruction, Who crowns you with lovingkindness and tender mercies, Who satisfies your mouth with good things, So that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s. (Psalms 103:1-5 NKJV)
So that your Youth is renewed like the eagles… Your youth is restored so you are youthful like the eagle.
Finally, Paul says to be renewed in the spirit of your mind (Ephesians 4:23) and that the inward man is renewed day by day (2 Corinthians 4:16) and we must put on this new person (Colossians 3:10). It is our own action that causes us to be renewed and restored. You must take control of yourself to bring those times of R&R so that you can be strong enough to continue successfully.
Get busy… Rest!