An overdue reflection

I enjoy getting up early. The two or three extra hours is amazing, and I can get so much done! I even have a morning routine to help me spend these extra hours most productively.

I spend most of my day working, but in the break times and the after-hours, I rest. I take work-life balance seriously. I don’t work overtime and I try to stay away from work as much as possible outside of it.

I like creating good systems and habits to help me lead a better life. At the start of each day, I write a daily highlight. Before bed, I review my day and write down the good and the bad. I exercise often. I experiment with a new habit every month. Heck, I even moisturise every day.

On the surface, it might seem like I have it all figured out. Yet, it feels like the opposite is true. Behind this facade is someone perpetually tired, exhausted and frequently falling sick.

I wake up early, but I don’t have the discipline to sleep on time. The “extra hours” are merely borrowed time, subtracted from my sleep. Some days, during my “productive morning routine”, I’m so tired that I fall asleep on the couch.

When I’m “resting” outside of work, I switch off my brain and go on autopilot, mindlessly consuming content on YouTube, Netflix or Instagram. These avenues of instant gratification might provide what feels like rest, but for me, it’s an excuse to shut off my thoughts and procrastinate personal reflection.

My habits sound good on paper, but in reality, I don’t have the energy to properly see them through. I lumber along my day, half-assing my habits and my responsibilities. More often than not, I’m just going through the motion.

This is how I currently feel. So I haven’t actually figured out a way to deal with the everyday tiredness. Although if I had to hazard a guess, I think I’ve just discovered the importance of rest. I’ve read about it in books and seen in videos but perhaps I’ve not taken it seriously enough. Not just getting sufficient sleep every night, but also giving myself quality rest, where I’m free from content consumption and am able to properly process my thoughts and emotions. Well, one way to find out I guess.

A fine line

I’ve often wondered about the fine line between prayer and inaction. Now, don’t get me wrong, prayer is not inaction. In fact, prayer is a very active activity. It requires us to be spiritually present, focused and intentional.

However, it is easy to fall into the trap of using prayer as an excuse for inaction. Most times it’s a lot easier to pray for something than to actually work it out in our lives. In the times that I spend praying, I sometimes get this nagging sensation in the back of my head that I can and I should be doing more.

Sometimes, prayer is all that can be done. But in all the other times, prayer has to be accompanied with action. Does taking action mean that we’re not trusting that God will answer our prayers? Not at all. As my dear friend Charles Spurgeon succinctly puts it…

“The Christian should work as if all depended upon him, and pray as if it all depended upon God.”

Charles H. Spurgeon