I think I’ve finally figured out my problem, after eliminating all the obvious suspects. I’m not suffering from COVID fatigue, or Zoom fatigue, or election fatigue… I’m suffering from fatigue fatigue. I’m not only tired of it all… I’m tired of being tired of it all. And I’m not sure what to do with this state of affairs.
Change everything? Check. Change everything, again? Check. Set aside every basic assumption you’ve ever made about everything you do? Check. Check. Check. Adjust. Pivot. Reimagine. Reimagine again. I wish I could just wake up from it all tomorrow morning to discover it’s just been a really bad dream. What is a faithful Christian response to fatigue?
Of course, you don’t have to dig all that deep to find Galatians 6:9: “Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.” I guess there’s some comfort in knowing that we’re not the first believers to just be worn out, and we won’t be the last. Maybe pandemics only come around once every hundred years or so, but there’s always something, isn’t there? Every generation has its tests and trials. As hard as this one is…. it’s not the hardest we’ve seen.
So, we do what humans in general and believers in particular have always done: we keep on keepin’ on. We find a way to keep plowing… to keep going… to keep pressing on… because at “the proper time”, we will reap a harvest.
“The proper time.” That’s always the pinch, isn’t it? We’d love to have a date on the calendar, written in permanent ink, when we know that everything will be better. But the simple counsel of the Word is to keep trusting, to keep believing, to keep doing good… and to wait until that “proper time.” God, it seems, is never in quite the hurry that we are in. Neither, it seems, does God ever get worn out with waiting.
God never disappears from the scene, though God’s hiddenness can be frustrating. There are always hints of hope. There is always the painting of possibility. Here we are again at Advent, the annual reminder that God is in the story, that God is on the move. In the midst of the world’s thundering chaos, a baby whimpers. Advent serves as a subtle nudge: don’t give up. Keep on keepin’ on. It’s not all for nothing. The payoff is coming… at the right time.
And so, we push back on the fatigue. We resist the weariness. We worship. We pray. We read. We listen. We share. We serve. And we keep on keeping’ on. Again.