Running on Empty
By Anthony Casperson
Mana. Stamina. Force Points. Magic Points. Focus Points. Energy Points. Etc.
It doesn’t matter much what the game calls it, the resource bars other than Health/Hit Points in games can be easily forgotten amidst the chaos.
You’re focused on getting the timing right for your character’s strikes. You want to down the enemy as quickly as possible because more are already approaching. You know that any sort of regular attack won’t get the job done the way this situation demands.
But then, right when you really need one more use of the resource, you realize that you’ve run out. You gotta scramble. Figure out a new plan. Hold off the onslaught just long enough to escape.
And most often you fail. The health bar goes down fast as the pummeling buffets you into the ground.
If only you’d taken some time to rest and regain that energy beforehand. But you thought you could keep going. One more minor push and then rest could come. Then, “one more” repeated for the tenth time and you questioned if just one more could be possible.
Your character’s health was still full. Or near enough. You had confidence in your skill. And you thought that resting now might just be a waste of time.
However, now that you feel the pang of your character’s exhaustion, you finally realize that it wouldn’t have been a waste. And who knows how quickly you’ll be able to recover from the mistake.
At least with a game, recovery should be possible.
The problem though, is that some of us try to do this same thing with our actual lives. We try to push ourselves with one more thing even when we know that our energy levels are dropping quickly. We add on one more event. One more project. One more day of overtime. One more…
Most of the time, they’re for good things. Someone’s depending on us to support them. Spending this energy will get us one step closer to our dream. The deadline is here, and if we don’t get it done, we’re in big trouble.
And as we tap into that limited resource of energy, we find that we’d hit empty long ago. There’s nothing left. Whether we reach actual exhaustion or run out of time, the result is the same.
Our body shuts down, or becomes damaged in some way. We that find our minds have lost the ability to concentrate.
That thought of resting, which had come so long ago, would’ve been the best thing for us. But we thought it’d be a better use of our time being “productive” rather than resting. And now we have to pay the consequences.
There’s a reason why God made himself an example for us and rested from his work. He knew that we humans don’t have a limitless resource of energy. And because we should emulate him in all things, he made sure to add rest to it all.
But we forget. And push ourselves anyway. Running of empty. Until the inevitable crash happens.
I’m not coming to this topic as one whose succeeded at doing this. Honestly, I’m writing these words because I’m right there with you. Using the last traces of energy to write this. Rest is needed.
And so, I want to remind us all that rest is not only a good thing, but is godly. Don’t let failure be the reason why you finally listen to the exhaustion.
Rest up. We need it.