Nearing Burnout, But Can’t Afford To? You’re Not Alone.

It was April 1992, and we had just moved to Massachusetts to begin a new ministry. That's when I watched the Boston Marathon.

It was April 1992, and my husband and I had just moved to Massachusetts to begin a new ministry.

We had the opportunity to watch part of the Boston Marathon right around the corner from our apartment in Newton.


Widely considered one of the most difficult marathons in the world, the Boston Marathon is for only the most elite runners.

An infamous 5-mile series of inclines toward the finish line starts at Mile 16—right before runners hit "the wall." They call the last and longest of the hills "Heartbreak Hill." And that's right where we watched the runners—at Mile 20 of the 26.2-mile race. 

One of the frontrunners immediately caught my attention. But something was wrong.

Soon, to our collective horror, we realized he was struggling to stay upright. The other runners swerved to avoid him; then the crowd on the side of the street parted. This pain-ridden athlete stumbled, then faltered over the curbside and collapsed on someone's front lawn.

We all watched in fear and silence as an emergency team located him, twitching on the ground.

They wrapped him in a foil survival blanket and whisked him away in an ambulance. Later we learned that he recovered and would be fine—but he was clearly not going to finish the race that day. 



As I watched that runner in April of 1992, I had no idea that I was headed for my own spiritual and emotional Heartbreak Hill. 

Like that marathoner, I too would push beyond my reserve and lose sustainability.

Although I was a relatively accomplished ministry leader—I would also wind up twitching on the sidelines of my own life, desperate for someone to hand me a survival blanket and unsure whether I would ever compete again.

Thankfully, I've also been restored to health and am able to run again.

But I learned lessons from my collapse, lessons that fuel my desire to help people find a way of life, a way of being— that not only keeps them from falling out of the race, but enables them to complete it.

Today I meet many people—often forerunners in their fields—who find themselves nearing exhaustion.

They may not be on the sidelines or stumbling noticeably, but far too many are dangerously low on their reserves, running on fumes, burnt-out. Some are smack in the middle of their own spiritual Heartbreak Hill.

You may have noticed others on the sidelines and you don't want to end up there yourself.

Or maybe you can begin to feel the lactic acid building up in your soul. For you, you're wanting to know how to not to head that way.

But if you identify with the fainting runner?

Then today, it's my prayer that your week may be infused by God's Spirit—and that you would find refreshing water for your thirsty soul.




Interested in practical ways to restore your soul?

Start “Confronting Burnout”, an online crash course to understand, prevent, and overcome burnout in your life:

Mindy Caliguire
Soul Care Co-founder

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