Zeal without Burnout: a review
“Constant levels of stress over a long time-period deplete our reserves,” (119).
Christopher Ash has given us a special resource and this is the first book in a long time that I feel belongs in the hands of as many leaders as possible. At barely over 100 pages, it’s eminently readable, yet don’t let the size of the book correlate to the importance of its contents.
Not only have I experienced burnout myself, I know quite a few people who have looked in to the abyss and lived to tell about it, but not without scars. And Ash isn’t shy about putting stories and personal illustrations and anecdotes that reveal a few wounds and scars.
The book is divided up in to 7 principles which include four ways in which we are obviously not God or not in control. From the need for sleep and rest to the need for encouragement and sheer delight, Ash adeptly covers difficult material with a keen pastoral heart. In the end, he reminds us all to “keep grace the main thing,” (106).
The conclusion includes a counselor defining burnout in more explicit terms and the entire work reminds me of classic writers who remove the extraneous words so that the important stuff rises to the surface.
The phrase “sustainable sacrifice,” is a keeper and Ash uses the introduction to explain that this isn’t heroism or martyrdom, rather this is the ability to give generously and to do so day after day after day. And for all of us who are in positions of influence, who seek to make the world a better place, I believe setting up a life that sacrifices in sustainable ways describes something we can all aspire to.
(I received a copy from the publisher in exchange for my honest review and as part of cross-focused reviews)