Update: Working thru Recovery

Overachieving is
  • attempting to perform at a level beyond the strength and skills needed to support the performance,
  • usually driven by an unmet temperament need
    • to be significant (to be a hero, experience power and prestige),
    • for approval and acceptance - from people but also from God,
    • to be successful, and
    • to feel useful, and
  • often aided by stimulant (rather than natural) energy.
The result is always injury. It occurs in different arenas of life, including education, workplace, and sports.

It occurs also in ministry.

The Body of Christ is fraught with Church leaders who have
  • suffered the injuries of overachievement,
  • attempting to do God’s Work,
  • impulsively,
  • in the wrong place and at the wrong time,
  • without his enablement/support, and
  • superficially motivated by wildfire emotions -
    • guilt (“Christ died for me, I must live for him!”),
    • fear (to stay out of trouble with God), and
    • ego (to be a hero to people and a Champion for Christ).
Personally, I can speak to the injuries in ministry.

During my earlier ministry, I missed understanding that God does his Work in specific places through vessels he calls, prepares, and appoints in his own timing according to his Will. So I jumped into the fray
  • impulsively and ill prepared (having some human strengths and skills as the world determines it, but too little of the support Christ provides per Matthew 11:28-30 and John 15:1-8),
  • motivated, of course, by the desire to bring the lost to Christ for salvation, but
  • driven also (as I am willing to confess now) by my unmet temperament needs as stated above.
The result was injury and loss. But instead of the failure driving me away from God into despair, God used the experience to call me into a different relationship with him beginning especially 28 years ago, leading to ongoing healing and renewal for meaningful ministry through GracePoint.

I can also speak to the injuries that are the result of trying to perform athletically to a level beyond my strength.

At the beginning of last year, despite growing older, I set out to better my running times and endurance as in previous years. I had read that athletes drank lots of coffee before events to improve performance, so I foolishly began using caffeine supplements before my runs. As a result, I developed an irregular heartbeat (A-Fib) (which I may have already been subject to genetically given my age and family history) which doctors say caused an injury (blood clot) to the area of my brain that controls balance.

So instead of increased performance, my running speed and endurance was cut in half. I expect to recover with hard work, sufficient rest, and proper nutrition, but without the caffeine supplements.

DonLoy Whisnant/The Grace Perspective/Journey Notes 16D30