Adrenaline. I love the stuff. I feed off of it. Thriving. Striving. I drive myself hard. I press on despite the stress, the damage, the unhealthy effects on my mind and body. I’ll be the first to admit it: I’m an adrenaline junkie.
Deadlines approaching. Projects promised. Relatives call with last-minute plans to visit. Things need to get done. Someone has got to take control, and I will do it! Those excessive demands can be met. I’ve got to push myself. With the adrenal glands in overdrive, the decisions are quick, accurate, split-second precise. Ah, yes! Progress.
Slow down? You’ve got to be kidding. I don’t have time. I’ve got things to do, people to see. Resting is for wimps.
Years ago, we spent Christmas in a small, dairy community located high atop the Swiss Alps. It was terribly small–no cars, no trains, no buses. The hotel room had no phone, no television, no computer access. The sun rose at 8:30 am and set at 4:30 pm. Needless to say, things were moving way too slow for me.
As an adrenaline junkie, this turtle’s pace was torment. I was so bored–pacing-the-room bored. I had to be doing something, anything. “Please, give me a project, a task, something to do!” my mind would scream.
Does any of this sound familiar? Are you an adrenaline junkie? Do you thrive on progress, achievement and accomplishment? Are you easily frustrated when something or someone impedes your progress? Take this simple test: sit down and do nothing. No reading, no praying, no sleeping, no television, no computer. Nothing. How long can you do that? You may be surprised at the results.
Adrenaline can be good, even life-saving. This God-given hormone helps us in threatening situations, giving us a quick, accurate response when faced with an emergency. But, the prolonged and improper use of this natural “fight or flight” intensity can be dangerous, creating terrible anxiety and panic attacks.
When it comes to adrenaline-induced energy, is it really worth it? Are you willing to sacrifice your physical and mental health for sake of a project, a deadline, a pat on the back? Is it really worth it?
Each day, I’m learning to rest a little more. Even during my holiday vacation in Switzerland, I was able slow down, sleep in and rest. Balance is becoming more and more important in my daily routine. And with that balance comes peace–peace that passes all understanding.
I want to encourage you with one scripture, a command from the Lord: “Be still and know that I am God” (Psalms 46:10a).
Prayer: Father, help me to slow down and rest in you. Reveal to me any fast-paced area of my life that is beyond healthy. Show me how to slow down. Show me how I can rest in your promises.