“To Whom much is given, much is required.” Luke 12:48
This Scripture verse carries more truth than one might think. Jesus was teaching his disciples to be ready for His glorious return, but the verse can also be applied to our lives today.
As I grew from childhood to adulthood, my parents increased my weekly allowance, but also gave me more responsibility around the house. When I earned my driver’s license, I had to put gas in the family car if I wanted to drive it. I moved into an apartment and I had to budget my income to pay rent on time or risk my roommate kicking me out.
During my career in banking, I rose from teller to new accounts representative to manager to business development officer. Each increase in responsibility brought an increase in my salary. I earned the title of Vice President by working hard, meeting goals, and encouraging my staff to succeed.
Two years ago, I looked around and realized I had reached the peak of my career. I had a comfortable six-figure salary, generous quarterly bonus structure, and respect in the banking community.
Sounds great, doesn’t it? But I was miserable.
I lost sleep over the constant pressure to meet my goals. Working on a huge deal, only to have it fall apart at the last minute gave me migraine headaches so severe I’d be in bed for two days.
The parts of my job I loved; meeting with clients, establishing new relationships, community involvement, became drudgery. Early morning phone calls, texts, and emails from customers annoyed me. Attending ‘training’ classes seemed a waste of time.
I was burned out.
A close friend’s death on the anniversary of my son’s death sent me into a downward spiral of panic and depression.
After a time of prayer and reflection, I realized it was time to quit. To walk away from my cushy salary and say goodbye to goal pressure.
Jesus said, “Come to me all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” Matthew 11:28 (NIV)
When I laid all my angst before God, I took time to really listen for an answer. I heard Him say, “You’re done there.”
My heart felt light when I considered what that meant. Instead of looking for a similar job in a different bank, my husband and I moved out of state to live near our daughter and grandkids for the first time in fifteen years. Here are some of the bonuses of that decision:
- I am no longer stressed while driving in traffic. I used to feel anxious about arriving late to work or to an appointment with a client. Now I relax, knowing I just have to get to work.
- I don’t wake up in the middle of the night, worrying about having to decline a loan.
- I don’t have work email on my phone, so no I no longer check my phone at 5:30 a.m. to see if anything has blown up overnight.
- The alarm company doesn’t have me on the bank list, so no more middle of the night calls to check if someone has tried to break in.
- I no longer have a barrage of angst-causing emails and meetings to discuss my progress toward my goals.
Perhaps you feel trapped by a career that is no longer satisfying. Maybe you feel you can’t give up your high salary. I’m not suggesting you quit your job like I did. I hope this encourages you to spend time with God, sharing with Him what he already knows. Then wait for Him to answer. His promise in Matthew 11:28 – 30 is He will give you rest.
I would love to hear from you if you are in the midst of burnout, whether it’s from work, caregiving, or COVID. I answer every email and comment. (Unless you’re mean. Then I might not.)