So, we bought a new all singing and all dancing* printer copier for the church. The sales blurb told us that the high-capacity toner cartridges would produce 3000 copies and so I was surprised to get a warning to ‘prepare a new cartridge’ while there was still 10% toner left.
So, if I obey the warning and the cartridge really produces 3000 copies that the manufacturers want me to throw away a cartridge that still has 300 copies left in it. Well that makes perfect sense doesn’t it!
‘Don’t be silly Graeme’, I hear you say, ‘they just want you to be prepared to make sure that you have a replacement cartridge’.
Well that would be fine and I certainly would take message that way if it wasn’t for the red light. We usually associate red lights with danger, you know, ‘this machine will self destruct in 10 seconds’ sort of thing.
So the red light is telling me that I need to change the cartridge URGENTLY, but as you can see from this picture (sorry it’s a bit grainy), it was still printing and it went on to produce copies for around another week for us.
I have had a really busy few weeks and in some ways I feel like there is a red warning light saying ‘prepare new Graeme’.
The danger with being overly busy is that we don’t look after ourselves, but over the years I have learned that if you don’t prioritize space and rest, then you don’t cope and you ultimately crash. We need to rest, no matter how busy we are and you can read more about this in ‘You are not a Salmon’ or Time to slow down? You’re not Superman you know!
When we feel over busy, we can easily feel overwhelmed and overburdened but the answer that I have found is to remind myself that I am doing God’s work. Reminding myself that I am on a Mission from God, is so liberating. My work should be all about God and not me! He is the one who needs to hold everything together and he should be the one that is my foundation and security. I am imperfect and I will get things wrong sometimes but God will never let us down and so we need to trust in him. You can read more about this in the Parable of the undefeated wrestler.
The other thing I have been reminded of is that God’s power is made perfect in weakness. I don’t have to be amazing to do God’s work if I am reliant on and am trusting in Him, in fact if we remember that what we do is all about God rather than ourselves then life will be radically different.
If you feel like it’s time to give up, if you feel like you are empty and exhausted then I hope that I have encouraged you.
If we rest well and if we look to, trust in and rely on God then we can keep on going no matter what.
We need to pause and take time out. The main reason that I am writing this now is to encourage myself during a busy (but also really good) day. Writing this has helped me to reflect on what helps me in busyness and I hope that these thoughts will help some of you reading this as well.
* Sadly, the copier hasn’t sung or danced yet, but it is printing and copying fairly well.