It occurred to me earlier this week that perhaps the reason I’ve been so tired this school year is not my class load, but the fact that I am teaching like its summer camp. Those of you who have ever been summer camp counselors know what I mean: the enthusiasm, energy, creativity, passion, and giving 110% from dawn to dusk…The brilliant thing about this is that I LOVE summer camp. I spent summer after summer working at Miracle Mountain Ranch as a teen, and even now can’t seem to stay away (I went back for a week as a wilderness camp counselor this past summer). So the fact that I’ve been able to bring that energy and enthusiasm into my classes this year excites me. I am loving teaching more than ever. (Don’t worry, I still hate grading). But I’m exhausted.
Over my many years as summer staff at Miracle Mountain Ranch, I have had the privilege of being discipled by and learning from a plethora of godly men and women. Many of the lessons taught during staff training each year by Dr. Dale Linebaugh, Ralph Magill, Matt Cox, and others still echo through my mind…the “Pinky” stories; the challenges to be bold in sharing the Gospel; the tears, testimonies, and transparency; the “quotable phrases;” and the passion for seeing young people mature in their love for Christ. Of these, one of the recurring messages was the contrast between tiredness and weariness. Tiredness, they reminded us each year (usually about halfway through the summer when everyone was exhausted), was merely physical. Sleep fixes tiredness. But sleep doesn’t fix weariness. Weariness is spiritual.
These past three weeks have been draining. But I am confident that it is mere tiredness. Spiritually, God has truly carried me on wings as eagles. Perhaps more than ever before, I have set aside time to invest into my personal relationship with and growth in Christ. I’ve been benefiting from The Prayers of Walter Bruggemann, the ScriptureTyper app, and online sermon archives from John MacArthur and Wallen Baptist Church in addition to time in the Word and prayer each day. But perhaps as important as all this are the people surrounding me and covering me in prayer. I am so grateful for the friends here, at home, and everywhere in between who encourage me to prayer, pray with me, and pray for me. Thank you.
So I’m going to keep on teaching like its summer camp. I love it. I hope my students love it. And when I drop from exhaustion on Friday afternoon, I’ll sleep through an entire weekend to combat the tiredness, spend some time in worship and prayer with other believers to sustain myself spiritually, then get up and go full speed again next week.