Have you ever tried to perform when you’re fatigued. If you’re not sure, try this….. go out and run five or six “50 yard wind sprints”. If you can still stand up, go and try to shoot the basketball, it’s a disaster…. “air ball city”. You probably will limp to the side, become nauseous, and look to take a nap. Fatigue, sometimes called weariness or tiredness or weakness or exhaustion, can be debilitating.
General George Patton (some say it was Coach Vince Lombardi) apparently coined the phrase “fatigue makes cowards of us all”. There’s some truth to this. When we are fatigued, we generally don’t do our best, and may want to quit.
In professional sports, a trainer helps the athlete learn how to work through fatigue and continue to perform at a high level. Recently my daughter gave me a book called “The Hoop Whisperer” by Idan Ravin. Ravin has trained a number of top NBA players… LeBron James, Kevin Durant, Steph Curry, Chris Paul. Ravin begins his workouts by fatiguing the player. He says ”anyone can play fresh; every player can make shots during warmups; I want to help them excel even when fatigued.”
When we are spiritually or mentally fatigued, we can become weak and tired and want to quit. Our thinking can get lazy and we can fall into our default position, where we look for the path of least resistance. It’s how my unredeemed self thinks …. how I thought before experiencing the truth of God. It’s a place where I do my best to avoid the cross…”I’m too tired to pray…I’m going to skip that prayer meeting… I need another cookie or beer…. I need to “veg out” with some T.V.”
Does anyone know what I’m talking about? Hmmmmm, maybe I’m the only one who’s ever felt like this when spiritually and mentally fatigued…… or maybe not.
Well if LeBron needs Idan Ravin to train him so he can get beyond fatigue on the basketball court, maybe you and I need a trainer to help us work through spiritual fatigue on life’s court. Idan’s good, but we have the Holy Spirit…. the ultimate trainer, who guides us thru life. He teaches us how to think, how to overcome obstacles. The Holy Spirit inspired the Bible, where we can find God’s truth for every situation. In addition He gives us the Church to help us. We are also blessed to have holy men and women to walk along side of us during our life’s journey… a good friend, a mentor, a spouse, a mother or father, a sibling, a son or daughter.
A good holy friend is there for us when we trip and fall… when life throws us a curve ball … sickness, a job loss, even death. They are there to help us through spiritual fatigue when we may want to crawl into a hole.
So don’t give up… fatigue does not have to make cowards of us all. As we work thru our fatigue with a little help from our friends and the Holy Spirit, we become stronger and holier. And that is very good news.