What exhausts us is the thought of what we are yet to do. Imagine when you have a project at work or a term paper at school. You could stay up until 2 am and do all you can, but because you know the magnitude of what is yet to be done, you feel even worse. From the tiredness that you have from working, but even more, from what you know you are yet to do.
But that’s not all. The greatest exhaustion comes from comparing where we are with where we see that others have gone. We imagine that we are doing so badly and we crave for what they have. That occupies our mind, not just up to 2 am, but throughout. Like when insomnia hits at 3.30am and you switch to Facebook only to find that your ‘peer’, your ‘age-mate’ has achieved yet another milestone. She’s on TV, he has a new car, the other one got engaged and yet the other one has a new release. And you begin to wonder what you’re doing wrong.
And so the rest of us end up with selfies of you seeming to do great, posts of how awesome your life is, location tags of all the newest malls….but you know what the truth is, we can see beyond the façade, beyond the show.
And it’s especially exhausting for you because, in spite of the likes, the hollowness remains. The emptiness persists. Because those who are the real deal do what they do because of what they have already become – so it’s an overflow, yet you are trying to become what you see them do – and that’s why it’s so hard.
It’s much easier to be who you are and let life overflow from that than try to keep up with the (online and other) Joneses. Now that’s exhausting. Jesus asks us to cast our cares on Him because He cares for us. Our cares and anxieties belong with Him, and when we hand them over to Him, we are able to see clearly not as through a stained glass window. We are able to have the right perspective about how far we have come, how much we have achieved, and how much we have changed for the better. And as we seek to express gratitude about that, more beauty comes out – rather than the vain, empty cravings of comparison.