Like Thanksgiving and Christmas, Easter is a huge day at Charlotte Rescue Mission. In contrast to what you see in movies about holiday meals at a rescue mission, we turn each of the three into full-day events. We start with a hot breakfast, show movies all day long and have a huge mid-day meal.
That means I get up at 3:15 a.m. and arrive at the mission by 4:30 a.m. I meet with the staff at 5 a.m. and then get ready for our volunteers who are scheduled to arrive at 5:30 a.m. At that point, the day becomes a blur as we open our doors to everyone in the community who wants to join us for one of the three holidays.
When breakfast is over, we transform our dining room to resemble a fine-dining restaurant. There are cloth tablecloths, long-stem goblets, cloth napkins, china and silverware. At 10:30 a.m., we begin orientation when our mid-day volunteers arrive. They serve as our waiters and waitresses for our fabulous mid-day meal.
Hundreds of people join us at the mission. When Easter was over, I went home and joined my family for our Easter dinner. In between the main meal and dessert, I collapsed from exhaustion. Later that night, I hoped a good night’s sleep would help me recover but it wasn’t enough. Over the next few days, I was catatonic as I tried to navigate my way through that week. I was still exhausted through Thursday and only began to recover on Friday. What happened to me?
My adrenaline was depleted. Did you ever give a big presentation and were on your game as you shared your ideas? A few hours later, you couldn’t move? It was as if a heavy weight was laying on top of you.
Dr. Archibald Hart says this is adrenaline depletion. His illustration is on Sundays, pastors deplete their adrenaline. He doesn’t recommend they take off on Mondays as they will be cranky to their spouse. Instead, they should take off Fridays. By then, their adrenaline will be back to normal levels.
There is a Bible story where Elijah takes on the priests of Baal. They will decide who is God. The priests call on Baal all day long to send down fire from heaven and consume an animal sacrifice but nothing happens. Elijah pours water on his sacrifice. He calls on God to consume the sacrifice with fire. It happens and the priests of Baal run for their lives. The king’s wife, Jezebel, calls for the death of Elijah. He runs for his life, finds himself sitting under a tree and wishes he were dead.
Was it a lack of faith? Was he wildly sinning? I think Elijah was physically exhausted. I think his adrenaline was depleted.
The week after Easter was hard for me. At Thanksgiving, I have Friday through Sunday to begin to recover. At Christmas, I take the week after off, but Easter is different. I only took off a half day on Monday. I still felt depleted. Friday, I was at the Speedway with my son looking at classic cars. I was good by then.
There is a Scripture verse that says that your spirit, soul and body may be preserved blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. I believe God has created us as physical, emotional and spiritual. Besides taking care of yourself spiritually and emotionally, take care of yourself physically.
I’ll be back in two weeks. Until then, live well my friend.
The Rev. Tony Marciano is the executive director of the Charlotte Rescue Mission. He is available to speak to your group. Go to www.charlotterescuemission.org and go to contact us- just ask for Pam.