TIRED. How many times this week have you used this word? Whether it be the go-to reasoning for being less interactive than usual or the apology that explains why you are choosing a quiet evening at home, this word has become a common response in our daily interactions and conversations. How are you? I’m good . . . a little tired. Are you okay? Sure, just tired. I know I have said it myself many times this week alone.
Although the exact origins of tired are uncertain, this Old English word’s first noted use was first around the 14th century and is believed to have stemmed from Proto-West Germanic vernacular. This commonly expressed sentiment includes descriptions such as fatigued, weary, and in need of rest. The Merriam-Webster dictionary gives expanded versions of the definition that include “to fall behind, lag” or even “to be trite or boring from too much use.”
Surely none of that sounds familiar?
You may be wondering why someone who is on a mission to find light in the world chose a word to discuss that doesn’t seem very cheery. I can clear that up. Connection. That is why I chose this word. Because I think there is light to be found when we reveal and embrace our most human selves and are then able to recognize similar struggles in those around us. Even if our current emotional state isn’t shining like sunshine, there is light to be found in the shared understanding of the struggle. And we can all connect on this one. We all get tired. We all grow weary and fatigued. Whether physical, emotional, or mental, I would guess that at some point, we can all relate to being worn out and in need of rest. The light we can chase in that moment is the reminder that we are not alone in our exhaustion.
But that is not the only ray of hope. Being tired can be a hidden blessing, an unplanned break, and a realistic reminder, all in one. We were not created for the speed the world currently tries to function at and we were not built for the kind of non-stop productivity that consumes our modern world. Our God, and our bodies, hearts, and minds are warning us that we need to stop and renew our strength in order to shine from the hill. We must seek moments of rest. If you are constantly tired, that may be your warning.
Sometimes in order to rest, we may have to, as I did when looking up the history of tired, find the origin of why we are tired. We need to explore how we got here, all the way to tired, and discover the why and how of that journey. If we are finding ourselves here often, rest may only come once we start evaluating the reason for the weariness and what we can do about it. Never forget we are called to take good care of what God has blessed us with, and that includes taking care of you.
So, my friend, welcome to tired. Know that you are not here alone. But also know that you were not meant to stay here. Find the light in knowing you are not alone, find the revelation in the origin of your weariness, and get the rest you so desperately need. Then you can prepare to leave this fatigue behind so you can once again shine bright. When it happens again, when tired catches up with your strength, rinse and repeat.