If I think about it, I’ve felt exhausted for a long time. More often than not. You know that headache you get behind your eyes? You take ibuprofen for it but you know the only thing that is actually going to help is if you close your eyes and go to sleep? I always have that headache. But It’s not just that I’m tired. Because I do sleep. I even take vitamins. I remember to take vitamins. I can’t remember my own phone number most of the time but I can remember to take my vitamins. Which makes me proud. It’s not my kids either. I mean, kids are exhausting. having children is sometimes like driving down a highway at 130 miles per hour (I’ve actually done that so I know what I’m talking about, bro). You can’t really relax for a second. Because the second you do and get distracted they are in the other room pulling every single record out of the sleeve and “cleaning them” with their gross, sticky hands on their dirty shirt covered in crumbs and lollypop residue. Or getting toxic cleaning supplies out from under the sink and spraying themselves in the face with them (true story). I actually love being with my kids. It’s really no inconvenience at all. I can’t stand it when I hear parents complain about their kids. Like they can’t wait for them to grow up and leave so they can re-start their life and get back to what they really wanted to do in the first place. anways. It’s not my kids. I have a great wife. I have a great life. But there has been something going on around my head and in my heart for a long time and I could never put my finger on it.
A little over a year ago, right around the 4th of July, I woke up in a hotel room like I do a lot. I got up and went down to the lobby to find some coffee. My brother, Jon, was sitting outside on the deck that was overlooking a really pretty river. Jon is NEVER up before me. He was listening to music and typing on his iPad. For a long time. If you’ve ever tried to type on an iPad for any length of time you know it’s hard. What I thought was even more interesting is that He had his laptop in his room. He could have just gone up and made it way easier on himself. But I got the impression that he didn’t want it to be easy. If it was easy he probably would have gotten bored and quit. He was going to type, and type, and type on that iPad until he was done. He was probably there all morning. He never really even looked up from the iPad in his lap. Of course I was curious as to what he was writing and to whom it was being written, but I didn’t ask. I wanted to, but I didn’t. The way he was so engrossed in what he was doing really affected me for some reason. I haven’t forgotten about it a year later. I think about it often. Wandering what he had to write that morning. Because it was like that. He had to write that morning.
I was working on my blog this morning. You know, just sprucing things up. I saw the link to Jon’s blog. He doesn’t really write much so I never go to it. I clicked the link anyways. He had a new post. Well, it was a year old. And he told the story about that morning. He posted it right after he wrote that morning on the patio of the Hotel. I never saw it until today.
“Jacob’s well makes me not want to go to the airport. It makes me want to rush through recording sessions that I used to only dream of being a part of. It makes me want to be gone when I’m home and home when I’m gone. It leaves me parched. It does not give me fullness of joy. It drains the pleasure out of living my dream.
I think I spend too much time drinking from Jacob’s well and not enough time drinking from the one that offers eternal life.”
As I read that paragraph my eyes started to fill with tears. I looked up from my computer and saw my kids playing with each other and laughing. I realized that I was feeling exactly like Jon was that day. I spend most days allowing myself to forget how blessed I am to get to do exactly what I’ve always wanted to do. I play music. I have a family. I have a home, cars, a dozen guitars and basically everything I need. But instead I try to sustain myself with mundane, temporary things that leave me bored, distracted, angry and bitter.
Proverbs 4:3 says “Above all else guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life”.
Sometimes reading “wellspring of life” might not really connect. Another translation says “for it determines the course of your life”
ABOVE ALL ELSE, GUARD YOUR HEART, FOR IT DETERMINES THE COURSE OF YOUR LIFE
I am guilty of not guarding my heart the way I should. I allowed loss in my life to wipe me out and shut me up. There was no life in my heart anymore because I let my heart die. The one thing that determines the course of my life is the one thing I ignore and shut off from myself, my family and my friends. I spent so much time feeling like I was walking in my sleep. Almost just waiting until I can get back in bed and be done with the day. I forgot to check on my heart. I didn’t take care of my heart.
I’m sure a lot of you can relate. It’s funny how we spend a lot of time feeling alone in our thoughts and feelings. But we really are all alike. We all need to feel alive. To feel needed and necessary. To know we are making a difference.
I spent a year wondering what my brother was typing that morning. I found out today we were feeling the same way.