Fred seriously considered the use of his time and energy, especially as his physical condition deteriorated. He carefully weighed each activity, measuring the “emotional output” each required. His wise use of time and resources enabled him to be productive to the very end of his life.
We are always warned by the electric company to avoid overloading the circuits. This is right, although I noticed that I have six plugs on one outlet, there is no potential danger because I only use one thing at a time. Each one alone doesn’t come close to maxing out the circuitry. We get in overload trouble by using more than one or two – that maxes it out.
The same thing happens in our lives. We get overloaded by having too many demanding involvements, emotional experiences, or commitments of time all at once. When we do so, we blow a fuse. It isn’t how many connections you have on a circuit; it is how much potential there is for an overload. Sometimes we can take on multiple activities so long as none of them requires too much or is plugged in simultaneously with too many other demands. When they compete for our energy current, we are in danger.
We draw different amounts of current depending on the emotional output require by any particular commitment. I used to speak to very large audiences, and it took practically no energy because the input was matched by the output. If there had been no positive input, such friendly reactions, laughs, agreements, interest, and so on from the audience, it would have take a great deal more output from me.
The power draw is not static. There are times when it takes much more energy to complete a task or go through an experience. I find my physical and spiritual condition greatly affect the flow. When I try to overreach in a weakened condition, I run out of energy more quickly. And when I am feeling the current strongly, I accomplish the tasks with less energy cost.
You must reach a balance where the amount that you give and the amount that you receive are equivalent – a zero sum game. We burn out when we are not sharing the energy load in the task, whether intellectual, emotional, physical, or spiritual. It is not the number of tasks, but the net energy required that determines the point of overload.
This week think about: 1) What draws power from me? 2) What gives me energy? 3) How do I measure the give and take in order to stay balanced?
Words of Wisdom: “It is not the number of tasks, but the net energy required that determines the point of overload.”
Wisdom from the Word: “Now the Lord energized Elijah with power; he tucked his robe into his belt and ran ahead of Ahab all the way to Jezreel.” (1 Kings 18:46 NET Bible)