The Seed of Hope

A gift for tomorrow

Where Did It Go?

Where’d it go?

For the past several weeks I’ve sat in front of this laptop to write a post for The Seed of Hope and thought “Where’d it go?”

A couple of weeks ago, Shane, a guy that had worked in our salon for years put in his last day with us, and I let him leave without saying goodbye and wishing him well. Later that night I found myself wondering “Where’d it go?”

I’ve walked into our salon each morning asking “Where’d it go?”

I’ve reached for my iPhone to text several of my closest friends, only to put it back in my pocket, and pondered “Where did it go?”

Morning after morning, day after day, in my prayer chair in our kitchen, I’ve questioned “Where’d it go?”

Last Wednesday night at church, standing amongst a couple of thousand hungry for God, soul searching Christians during the worship portion (singing) of the service, which is usually my favorite part, I was bewildered and near the point of shouting to the heavens “Where’d it go, God? Where’d it go?

What did I lose?

Well, I lost my lust for life.

Before you go associating my lust with anything sexual, I want to share a definition found in the dictionary:

lust: a : an intense longing: CRAVING <a lust to succeed> b : ENTHUSIASM, EAGERNESS <admired his lust for life>

So when I tell you that I lost my lust for life, what I’m saying is that I lost my enthusiasm for writing, and for our salon. I lost my compassion for people; to be with them, and to love on ‘em. I lost the need for prayer.

Worst of all, and I mean the worst of all, was that I lost my craving for God. Perhaps that’s why, of all the words in the English language, I chose the word lust. You see, I don’t have just a desire to know Him, or to walk with Him, or to be filled with His Spirit. I don’t just seek His face, or want His presence. It’s like this: the more I get of Him, the more I want of Him. Enough is never enough. It’s just that simple. When that lust was gone, I knew that something was wrong.

So, what happened? Where’d it go?

Burnt Out

You ever used that term to describe the way you felt at a particular time in your life? Not tired, beat, done, or exhausted, but burnt out.

I did a little research on the subject, and this is an excerpt of what I found at

          Are you at risk of burnout syndrome?

Burnout is a chronic condition that happens when your body or mind can no longer cope with overwhelmingly high demands. You are trapped in a state of emotional exhaustion, and it is hard to get out of the state. You stop caring about what you do, even though you may feel guilty about the fact. Even if you still continue working, it seems hard to make progress. You hardly accomplish anything significant, and just go through the motions.

Sound familiar?

The burnout syndrome referenced above was actually about job related burnout, but in this instance I’d rather apply it to life in general. There are so many things in the world, and in our personal lives that cause burnout.

Careers, relationships, raising our kids, finances, dwindling retirement accounts, peer pressure, health issues, oil spills, commitments that we don’t need, and trying to make people happy are just a few challenges in our lives. The list goes on and on and on. I’m not trying to overwhelm you with negatives here, but to let you know that you’re not the only one with a lot of “junk” to deal with.

As that junk accumulates, and as our proverbial “plates” get more and more full, our perspective towards the things that are most important to us changes. And our minds trick us into believing that our hearts have changed.

I want to use the tongue as an analogy. Yep, that’s what I said; the tongue.

Or better yet, let’s talk about taste buds for a minute. You make wake up tomorrow morning to find that you detest the taste of a vegetable, or meat, or soft drink that you’ve liked since you were a kid. It’s happened to me before. How about you? What happened? Well, your taste buds changed.

Pardon my Southern slang, but there’s a whole lotta difference between our hearts and our taste buds. You don’t just wake up one morning to find that affairs of the heart, like love and compassion for others, or what you do in and with your life, or the things that you hold most dear, or especially your passion for God, have taken a back seat to other issues. Or that they just don’t matter much anymore. It just doesn’t happen that way.

It seems as though I have fallen prey to burnout syndrome, and to be quite honest with you, it caught up with me when I wasn’t looking. As I sit here and reflect on things, I shouldn’t really be surprised at all…

“Life comes at you fast.”

If you’ve missed it, that quote is a tagline for a major insurance company. Truer words were never spoken. Life does indeed come at you fast, and quite often it comes at you hard. If you turn away for a minute (at least it seems like just a minute), you turn back to face what’s in front of you and it has grown exponentially! The pile of “life stuff” that’s composed of what you’ve done and what you still have to do is so completely intimidating and overwhelming that it, well, it changes your heart. And it steals the joy out of the good things in life.

Today marks the beginning of a ten day vacation for my wife Jackie and me. As it has done so often in the past, time just slipped away from us. We haven’t had a vacation in two years.

When I finish this post, I’m gonna step away from this laptop, and my ambitions, and all of the stuff that’s piled up on my plate.

I’m gonna go spend some time with Jackie (she’s still my best friend after 21+ years of marriage), and I’m gonna get back in touch with my heart. I’m gonna get back in touch with God, and I know that when I do, I’m gonna find the joy, contentment, and peace that’s been missing for the last several weeks.

Then I’ll be back and ready to go, better than ever.

Until I “see” you again, be safe, be well, and may God bless you.




Mike Burnett wrote on 06/25/10 11:12 PM

"Go to work on yourself harder than you do on your job. If you work hard on your job, you can make a living. If you work hard on yourself, you can make a fortune." by Jim Rohn. Enjoy your vacation Sam and Jackie I know you deserve it. Be safe and God Bless. BTW, I highly recommend you read a book called "Aspire" by Kevin Hall.
Deborah Biggs wrote on 06/25/10 11:58 PM

Now Sam......I just sat down to check my email.....I will tell you one thing, and it is for you and everyone who reads this. YOU, my good friend, are the one TRUE follower, and champion for the Lord that I know! I don't believe for ONE second that you have "lost" anything.....Satan is after you like he was me for a solid 13 months (and you know everything about that, since I told you every sad detail of it) are doing EXCEPTIONALLY WONDERFUL things, and Satan wants you to stop....he knows you are making a HUGE dent in his evil work, and he wants you to stop. I, along with lots of others, look to you for encouragement when we are devastated, and low...Yes, it is an ENORMOUS annointing, and the ALL KNOWING GAVE YOU THE JOB......You make Him proud everyday....YOU are making a huge difference EVERYDAY......KEEP ON KEEPING ON.....WERE COUNTING ON YOU :)
Linda wrote on 06/26/10 6:28 AM

Sam, it is my prayer that during this ten day period, you will be refreshed, gain new perspective and let God decide what your limitations should be in order to combat "burnout". Satan is clever, my dear friend, and if he can't stop you from your work, he'll overwhelm you with it. I've shared with you the messages I've heard and continue to hear about "resting in God". Actually sitting down, taking it easy, relaxing, and doing ... nothing, but resting in Him. Psalm 23 has even been used. "He maketh me to lie down beside still waters. He restoreth my soul." Maketh me. I'm praying for you. I love you! Be at peace.
Pamela wrote on 06/26/10 7:05 AM

Sam - my friend, I too have experienced burn out and fight it daily between being a single parent to an emotionally challenged son, financial struggles (although I always stand firm with my gross tithe and gifts), battling health issues while trying to work full time at a very stressful job (home health & hospice), trying to attend church and small groups, and taking care of a house and a yard by myself without a soulmate/helpmate. I have not has a vacation in 15 yes FIFTEEN years. At times my struggles bring me closer to God and at other times I am too stressed out to hear much less feel His presence. That is a very dark and depressing place to be in. However - even though I may not feel Him - I know He is always there, regardless of my feelings or situations. I was recently betrayed in a very embarassing and humilitating way by 2 friends I had made at church and it hurt me really bad. So much so I almost stopped coming and started looking for another church. I was totally devastated. I trusted these people - one of whom was my accountability partner who deceived me. The other was a small group friend who made up lies about my personal life and spread them all over the group - intimate details that were not even correct or true. I was blind sided by both of these situations which occured back to back. At first I was shocked that true Christians would do something like that - then I was very angry at them and at God - then I was hurt, embarassed, humilitated, and lost all self esteem. Then I remembered who I was actually being attacked by. It was not really my friends. It was the enemy working though them to get to me. I had to repent and ask for God to forgive me and then go to one of them and make amends. The other friend is avoiding me but eventually I know that she is going to have to face me and will get things cleared up then. I do not think I will be able to be close to these 2 people as I once was as my trust was violated and in one of these people I feel a true loss. I would have given my ife for her, and still would. The other person I didn't know as well. Anyways, while all of this was going on - along with the regular life strssors, I was unable to feel God. I was numb. I tried praying, listening to my Christian music, fasting - and eventually once I worked though my feelings I was able to come back into His presence. Lesson learned: nothing in life is worth it if it keeps you from God. I was so lost and scared - my "lust" for Him had been buried under all of those other feelings of resentment, betrayal, anger etc. I never want to feel seperated from Him again. It was a very dark, lonely, and destitute as well as depressing place. It feels sooo good to be back in His light again - and to be able to feel His love and peace, Regardless of my current circumstances. I am learning how to take my thoughts captive and not react to my feelings wihtout first acting and thinking things through. It is a daily learning process as a one year old Christain - but I am so humbled that God cares for me enough to allow me to experience these life lessons to grow me closer to Him and to grow mw up to be a wiser and more mature Christian. Thanks as always for sharing your story. Your posts are always a great inspiration to me ! I hope you enjoy your vacation and have a safe return home. may God bless and keep you :-) Love in Christ, ~ Pamela
Susie Mc wrote on 06/26/10 3:49 PM

Hey are doing the best thing possible to resolve your burnout. I am at the beach, and I don't have a schedule...I am just doing what I want, and deadlines, no pressure, just chillin (well, not truly chillin since it's so unbelievably HOT down here..ha). Anyway, I pray for His refreshment and restoration to shower you. I pray for new passion and lust for life IN will happen. It's a phase...nothing is wrong with you. I love you guys!!!!
Jenny wrote on 06/27/10 8:52 AM

Sam - this will be short and sweet - Satan doesn't prey on the bad guys - only the good guys!
Stephen Popadich wrote on 06/29/10 3:03 PM

It is a much deserved and well anticipated vacation. I Hope you and Jackie have a fantastic time!!!! Love you guys lots
Donna wrote on 07/07/10 7:41 AM

I can't wait to see the revived Sam and hear you say, "Life is awesome!"

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