How To Recover From Burnout And Feel The Joy And Adventure Of Life

by | Emotional Burnout

Larry Dale and I are lake dwellers. Our home is a cozy cottage on the bank of Lake Lewisville. Which means lots of early-morning water skiers. One morning, as I sipped hot lemon water while enjoying the daybreak enthusiast, I realized, Jesus is like a great ski boat!

Sounds a little silly, but as I pondered the analogy, I remembered the day I learned to slalom ski…

Hold On And Trust The Boat

The white-capped waters of Possum Kingdom Lake had me bobbing like an apple. I’m tucked with my eighth-grader legs bent like I’m about to do a cannonball…with one ski on. Someone calls out, Hold on and trust the boat!

To which I think, Sounds simple enough.

The engine of the boat began to roar. I felt the tension on the rope. So, I stood up. And fell over.

Again, I hear, Hold on and trust the boat.

Tucked and ready to go again, I yell back, Got it!

The engine roars. The rope tightens. And, you guessed it…I stand up…and fall over.

Over and over. Same sequence, same outcome. Clearly, the concept of trusting the boat was lost on me. I was trying to ski in my own power. And that was the problem.

After swallowing half of the Kingdom, exhausted, I finally gave in. Let the boat do the work. Hold on and trust the boat. 

The engine roared. The rope tightened. Trust the boat. And just like that, in one splendid motion, I was on top of the water. Skiing!

How to Recover From Burnout

In water skiing, the boat has all the power needed for the skier to ski. All the skier needs to do is stay connected to the boat by means of the rope and trust the power of the boat.

As a burnout expert, what I know for sure, if you want to recover from burnout, you must learn to live connected to the Boat and trust the power of the Boat, aka Jesus. 

I use the word expert because I know from personal experience what it is to burn out. To lose efficacy. 

Burnout occurs when we continue trying to live in our own power, disconnected from the One who created us. When the created try to do life disconnected from the Creator, burnout eventually and invariably happens. 

So, how do you recover from burnout? Just like water skiing, the Boat has all the power needed for the skier to ski. All the skier needs to do is stay connected to the Boat by means of the rope and trust the power of the Boat.

You Can’t Ski and Drive The Boat Too

As a skier, you have zero control over the boat. Sure, you have some hand signals to indicate your wishes to the driver of the boat. Like, go right. Left. Faster. Slower. Turn around. As I think about it, it sounds like my conversations with God sometimes. Especially, Turn this thing around! Go back to the smooth water!

I don’t like the choppy waters of burnout. And I usually think I know the shortest route back to smooth waters. Believing smooth waters are always best.

But Jesus knows better. Out of the two of us, He’s the only one with the big picture. Only He knows where you’re going. And why.

Beloved, if you want to ski, stop trying to control the Boat.

Where were you when I laid the earth’s foundation? Tell me if you understand. Who marked off its dimensions? Surely you know!” Job 38:4-5

Recovering from burnout is a process. Usually a very slow process. Because learning to trust takes time. All the time necessary to untangle your soul from the things that keep you from trusting. 

The Thrill of Centripetal Force

If you want to recover from burnout, you must learn to live connected to the Boat and trust the power of the Boat.

Trusting Jesus will always involve letting go of control. But OMGoodness! The adventure and exhilaration of experiencing His love, power, joy, peace, and faithfulness! Nothing, absolutely nothing compares.

It’s like slalom skiing out across the wake of the boat. Tethered to the boat’s safety, a centripetal force comes into play. The thrill of acceleration catches your breath. Lean into it. As one arm falls away from your body, you feel the extension, and the edge of your ski shoots out a glorious spray of water! 

Feeling burned out? Lost efficacy? Pray with me…

Dear Jesus, I have a tendency to go my own way. Continually trying to take things into my own hands. Trying to live life in my own power, on my own terms. But that’s not what I really want. What I really want is to live connected to You, trusting in You. Recalibrate my life. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Here’s a quick video to enjoy for those unfamiliar with slalom skiing!

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Thanks for stopping by! Until we meet again, remember – Trusting in Jesus, you’ll have more treasure than pockets. From my heart to yours,

Sandra Adcock Signature