The answer to exhaustion is not rest...

It's wholeheartedness.

Certain ideas are sticky and this one stuck to my heart like bubble gum on the underneath side of a bus seat.

It came from Chuck De Groat in an episode of "Enneacast" podcast from the Love Thy Neighborhood group. I suppose I've "known" that rest is more than just sleep, that it's something more holistic, but this idea of "wholeheartedness" is a much more active, engaged response to exhaustion. Now, yes, sometimes you just flat out need to go "passive" and sleep; let God's grace wash you in sweet sleep. (I'm a big fan of naps, by the way.)

I've felt "exhausted" for a while. Some of that is due to my status as a father of three young children (8,4,2). But, more than that, I feel disconnected from the wellspring of living. "Above all else", the Teacher admonishes, "guard your heart, for from it flow the springs of life." (Proverbs 4:23) I'm still learning to care for my heart so that I'm a channel of life for the Giver of Life, a geyser of his subterranean aquifer. Self-care can sound quite self-ish, but when understood with wisdom from God, it's an act of love, worship and obedience to our Creator who made us with a vocation, capacities, and limits, that we do well to honor.

I think "wholeheartedness" latched on to me because - in Enneagram speak - I tend toward a withdrawn posture (4/5w) and dutiful posture (I definitely have some 9/1 going on, too). I'm fairly "doing repressed" and struggle to find the activation energy to engage in a more robust wholeheartedness, that is, I naturally tend towards journaling, reading, introspection, going on walks, listening to podcasts or sleeping when it comes to "resting" from my exhaustion. But, is that wholehearted living? Nope.

Wholehearted living will require an honest assessment of the traps I am prone to getting caught in and the ways I sabotage my own flourishing. This is where a tool like the Enneagram can be very helpful. It's not a savior, it's a tool, and I believe the Enneagram can provide language and lenses to better understand the condition of our souls as we walk with Jesus, the Shepherd and Overseer of our souls who knows us intimately.

It will include upstream and downstream practices that naturally resonate with my temperament and also stretch my natural tendencies. It will include an honest inventory of my core wounding messages and the vices which I am prone to annex to my soul. It will involve an interrogation of my patterns of relating to others.

Saint Augustine famously said that our hearts are restless until they find their rest in Thee. I'm trusting God for breakthrough in 2020 to emerge from exhaustion and restlessness in order that I might live and move wholeheartedly in the one who is Rest and therefore have Life to extend to others.


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