Fulfilling Exhaustion: Finding Joy in Purposeful Endeavors

Fulfilling Exhaustion: Finding Joy in Purposeful Endeavors
Photo by Nubelson Fernandes / Unsplash

A few days ago, after a particularly long and exhausting day, a friend of mine called to check in on how I was doing. We had just ended a rather long but productive meeting for a project that we’re working on together. We talked a lot about the exhaustion we both had from the long day of meetings and work. However, the one thing we both agreed on was how fulfilling it was to be exhausted from doing the things we loved. Ironically, our prayer was and has always been for God to give us the capacity to do more.

After this conversation, I thought a lot about how, for many of us, work can be very exhausting, draining and a means to an end, yet for some, it can be both exhausting and fulfilling, even with little compensation (because money can never be enough anyway)

As I write this, I have had less than 12 hours of sleep in the last 72 hours, with only 2 hours of sleep on one of these days. While I need to catch up on all the sleep (and I plan to), I am very fulfilled and do not regret putting those extra hours to work on the things I love and support my people.

Exhaustion. A word that often carries a negative connotation, signifying weariness, depletion, and fatigue. In the fast-paced world we live in, it's not uncommon to encounter moments of overwhelming tiredness, especially when we pour ourselves into work and various responsibilities. However, amidst the hustle and bustle, there exists a profound beauty in exhaustion, particularly when engaging in activities that bring fulfilment and purpose to our lives.

For me, exhaustion has taken on a different meaning, shaped by the passion I have for the things I love to do. Whether it's dedicating myself to projects that directly impact people's lives or supporting a dear friend or family member in their most significant moments, each drop of sweat has been worth it, bringing a sense of contentment and meaning to my existence.

One of the primary sources of my fulfilling exhaustion comes from my work. Being involved in projects that make a tangible difference in people's lives has been a driving force behind my commitment and perseverance. Whether it's working in the non-profit space to provide education to underprivileged children or contributing to initiatives aimed at promoting sustainable living, knowing that my efforts are helping to shape a better world gives me the energy to keep pushing forward, even when the going gets tough.

But it's not just the direct impact that fuels my motivation; it's also the ripple effects that result from these endeavours. By supporting projects that aim to uplift communities and address global challenges, I am contributing to a positive chain reaction that goes beyond the immediate scope of my work. This understanding makes the exhaustion feel lighter, almost weightless, as I know I am part of something greater than myself.

I also find grounding in one of my favourite scriptures, Ephesians 2:10. Knowing that God created us to co-create with him charges me to not only work but do it excellently knowing that we do it for the glory of the Lord and for the betterment of his people. When we see our work in this light, it can become a source of great meaning and satisfaction.

For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.

On a personal level, being there for my friends and family during their significant life events is both a privilege and a rewarding experience. Recently, I had the honour of leading the preparations for a friend’s wedding. Organizing such an event involves meticulous planning, coordination, and a considerable amount of physical and emotional energy. Yet, as I witnessed the joy and love that filled the room during the celebration, I couldn't help but feel that every ounce of exhaustion was worth it. Knowing that I played a part in making their special day memorable and stress-free made me forget the tiredness that crept into my bones.

It's essential to recognize that fulfilling exhaustion doesn't mean we are always full of energy or that we don't experience moments of weariness. Rather, it means that the exhaustion is justified by the profound satisfaction and joy we derive from our actions and commitments. When the purpose behind our efforts aligns with our values and passions, exhaustion becomes a stepping stone, not a hindrance.

Of course, it's crucial to strike a balance and take care of our well-being amidst the hustle. Self-care and knowing our limits are essential aspects of leading a fulfilling life. It's okay to take a step back, recharge, and regroup when needed. Finding a support system, both personally and professionally, can also help alleviate some of the burdens that come with exhaustive endeavours.

The reality of exhaustion is inevitable, especially when we invest ourselves in meaningful work and supporting our loved ones. However, what distinguishes fulfilling exhaustion is the deep sense of purpose and gratification it brings to our lives. By engaging in activities that impact others positively, we become part of something greater, not only creating a ripple effect of goodness in the world but also partnering with our creator to create value for people and bring glory to his name. So, let us embrace the exhaustion that comes with pursuing our passions and supporting others, for it is in those moments that we truly find fulfilment and meaning in our journey through life.

Even as we talk about fulfilling exhaustion in work, I also understand that we are not all privileged to do what we love. I have been blessed to do what I love and work with some of the most supportive people, both in my day-to-day work, ministry and other one-off projects. The circumstances of what we choose to do, where and with whom we choose to work may be beyond us. I hope and pray that more often than not, God will bring the right opportunities, and supportive people so that even on the days when exhaustion and weariness kick in, you will have the right people around you to make doing the things you love, especially on the hard days even more fulfilling.

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0:00/1× Hi, my name is Ivan Kabandize, and you’re welcome to my space. Wondering what I’ll be doing here? Well, I am also still figuring a few things out, but as I do that, here is what I know; this will be a place for me to reflect