“Forget the former things;
do not dwell on the past.
See, I am doing a new thing!
Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?
I am making a way in the wilderness
and streams in the wasteland. (Isaiah 43:18-19, NIV)
Isaiah tells us that if we want something new, we have to let go of the past.
We can’t move away from burnout unless we’re willing to forget the way we’ve always done things – let our present reality become our former way of life.
If you want your life to change, be prepared for a lot more “I used to…” and a lot less “I’ve always.”
You can’t have a new life without letting go of the old.
The biggest little thing you can do is have the courage to say “no more.”
I’ve always done it this way – but no more.
We’ve always made this work – but no more.
I always wanted to do this – but no more.
I’ve never done it like this – now I will.
Can you see the new thing God is doing in you? Do you perceive it? Are you willing to “forget the former things” and “not dwell on the past?”
It’s such a little thing – there’s no action involved – just a simple recognition that it’s time for change.
But it’s the biggest, most powerful little thing you can do to move from a life of exhaustion to one that’s overflowing.
It may be a little thing, but don’t underestimate it’s power… or it’s difficulty.
Most of us needed to do this years ago but couldn’t.
We’re living in a chronically exhausted world, where it is expected, even celebrated, to be on the edge of burnout, and we continue that way because we can’t admit the problem is ours, or the solution is also within our reach.
There’s plenty of blame to go around, and it’s a whole lot easier to blame our exhaustion on circumstance. I wouldn’t be like this if only he would help. I wouldn’t have to push so hard if my boss wasn’t such a jerk. If only my kids were a little older, I wouldn’t be so tired. You’re probably right. And you will continue to be right and nothing will change and you will model to your spouse, your kids, your friends, your boss that this is just how you are.
But every now and again we get a glimpse of someone who lives life differently – who has the same boss but is content. Who has young kids but still smiles. Who’s spouse is absent but walks with a bounce in their step.
What does she have that I don’t?
It’s not a secret. She pursued God’s best despite her circumstances. And God “made a way through the wilderness.” She may still be living in that wasteland but she now accesses the streams God placed there, and it’s making all the difference. She was willing to “forget the past” and step out in faith, believing God’s promise of a way forward.
Are you ready for the same?
To do the first little thing on your journey to a new life?
Can you confess what you’re doing isn’t working? Are you ready for God’s promise of something new?
When you acknowledge the need for change, and you own your story, you stop being a victim and start moving towards the new life God has in store for you.
Confession kicks powerlessness to the curb.
You may not know where to start – and that’s okay – but nobody gets off this crazy train of burnout without saying “It’s time. This ends now.” It’s a powerful, unbelievable little thing that will change your life.
Is it time to stop “pushing through”? Time to lay down that tough image that says you’ve got it all together? Time to stop being a victim to circumstance? Time to say enough?
One Little Thing Challenge: Day 2
Take a few moments of quiet to ask yourself if you’re ready for change. You might not be, and that’s okay. Come back here when you are. But if you, like me, have gotten to the point to say “I can’t go on like this any longer. Something has to change,” then you’re ready. Say it out loud and write these words in your journal:
The way I’m living isn’t working. Things have to change. I’m ready for the new thing God is preparing for me.
Prayer for Today: