The Eli­jah Syn­drome

Sun.Star Pampanga - - TOPSTORIES! - REV. ARNEL TAN

JUST like elec­tric­ity over­load, the hu­man body can trip, and when left un­ad­dressed, it gets dam­aged be­yond re­pair. The vet­eran prophet, Eli­jah, had enough! It was not an is­sue of faith per se; it was about fa­tigue which di­rectly af­fected his faith. Con­se­quently, this tired­ness cre­ated an un­de­ni­able com­pli­ca­tion that af­fected his re­la­tion­ship with God.

It’s note­wor­thy to re­flect that all of us ba­si­cally main­tain these three ba­sic re­la­tion­ships: our re­la­tion­ship with God; our re­la­tion­ship with oth­ers; and our re­la­tion­ship with our self. Un­for­tu­nately, it’s the re­la­tion­ship with self that is most ne­glected. We have falsely as­sumed that lov­ing self is self­ish and a right re­la­tion­ship with God re­sults in a healthy view of self­im­age! Self-care is ac­tu­ally a godly prac­tice of stew­ard­ship! Here’s the crux of the mat­ter — phys­i­cal fa­tigue greatly af­fects spir­i­tu­al­ity.

Men­tors who have had enough suf­fer a se­ri­ous case of burnout that leads to de­pres­sion and if not ad­dressed, will lead to some­thing worse. Let me high­light that this case of burnout re­spects no pro­fes­sion. Alarm­ingly, this dan­ger in­cludes those whose main job is to coun­sel peo­ple who are burned out! Min­is­ters like my­self are most vul­ner­a­ble.

The trig­ger point of Eli­jah’s de­pres­sion was the threat of Jezebel, the wife of King Ahab. If you know who Jezebel is, you’d know how ca­pa­ble she is of do­ing what she says she will do.Asare­sult, Eli­jah ac­tu­ally ran away from her. What hap­pened to our bold and brave prophet? Well, the bold and brave prophet is also hu­man. We must not for­get this part of be­ing hu­man. On the other side of the coin, is Jezebel re­ally the is­sue of this predica­ment?

The real is­sue was not Jezebel. Her threat was the tip of the ice­berg. Con­sider this hid­den threat: Eli­jah him­self! His lack of rest caused him to be de­pressed. His pas­sion went be­yond the al­low­able limit, it is now called in­ten­sity. His con­cern was ac­tu­ally a sign of ad­dic­tion to con­trol. It is no won­der that the an­gel who min­is­tered to him asked him to sleep, eat, and sleep. The rea­son be­hind this sleep­ing and eat­ing reg­i­men is clearly stated “your jour­ney ahead is too much for you”. Let’s bring the is­sue closer to home. Qui­etly re­flect and try to iden­tify some threats that zap your zest and zeal to live— Like age­ing, job se­cu­rity, health is­sues, or com­pli­cated webs of re­la­tion­ships? Get some rest now!

Se­ri­ously con­sider this mat­ter as ur­gent. In­ten­tion­ally look for a PLACE to be quiet. Ask around if there’s a place avail­able where sleep will be undis­turbed and eat­ing is not done in a hurry. Next, make this a pri­or­ity, and re­mem­ber, va­ca­tion some­times is an added stress. Pon­der on the dif­fer­ence be­tween tak­ing a rest and tak­ing a va­ca­tion. Rest­ing is do­ing noth­ing! Lastly, meet God who is the au­thor of rest and who Him­self rested af­ter the cr eat i on.

A good prayer as we en­ter this crazy sea­son of Christ­mas is “Slow me down Lord. Amen”.

Thanks for read­ing. I al­ways write straight from my heart.

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