Holy week and Easter are busy times in the church. There are extra services, special events and It’s exhausting. This got me thinking and pondering about how we worship when we are exhausted. I think of the example Christ gave us in Matthew chapter 14, when he was grieved from the death of John the Baptist and he sought to withdraw for a time by himself. Unfortunately the crowds found him, but he had compassion on them. This time sought for solitude became the feeding of the five thousand. After this miracle he did find time for solitude. But the pace that Jesus was leading was one that would be hard to keep up with.
Sometimes life can throw so much at us that we become truly exhausted. So exhausted, that when we seek time for prayer or reflections, something else inevitably comes up to demand that attention. It is a place where we can all find ourselves; drained, burned out, bone weary. Sometimes it is unavoidable. But how do we worship? How do we give of ourselves when we have nothing left to give?
I think of Jesus’ example: he was tired and worn out and yet in that state he performed one of the miracles that children first remember and understand. God can use us in this way as well. I often find that when I am the most exhausted and the most worn down is when I stop getting in the way and God can truly use me. I no longer have the energy to fight for my way, instead I more easily give in to God’s way.
As we reflect in the radiance of the empty tomb, and seek to recover from the hectic life that the Easter season can bring, we find new opportunities to experience God. When we no longer have the energy to argue, we make ourselves more available to experience Him working in and through us. In this recovery we can be used by Him in new ways.Our worship then becomes more of a need, more of a giving up of our control and meeting God where we are. Meeting Him in a place where we can find honest solitude, where our minds are open to hearing and where our thoughts are too worn down to argue. Instead we can simply sit in the presence of God and find renewal in the One who gives us the energy, the strength and the creativity to follow even when we don’t think we can take another step.