Exhausted: Duane W.H. Arnold, PhD

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30 Responses

  1. Michael says:

    Well said, Duane.
    I spent a lot of time yesterday talking to others exhausted by the events of this year…we needed to hear this word today.
    I thought I was the only one who looked forward to bed time as the highlight of the day…

  2. Duane Arnold says:


    Many thanks… and you are certainly not alone!

  3. Jean says:

    “We can, however, emulate the attitude of these early believers. The Gospels that we read are the same as those that were heard by those believers in the second and third centuries. To put it simply, the response that they chose to the politics and pandemics of their day was not outrage, or division, or insisting upon their “rights”. It was love and service, not just to the household of faith, but to all who were created in the image of God… even enemies.”

    Hi Duane,

    I think two of the biggest differences between then and today, is that, and I don’t fully understand why, many Christians, included many in my tradition, fancy themselves as experts in the fields of infectious diseases and epidemiology and/or they prefer the advice of psuedo experts.

    I think there are parallels in the independent evangelical movement, and in our politics as well.

    In the search for quick fixes (revealing the lack of patience and self-discipline), perhaps denial is an important tool in the solutions box of many. When a person can’ find peace of mind in denial, there is another tool that many people apply to current challenges: affix blame to others. Caine couldn’t get to God, so he took out his anger on his brother.

  4. Duane Arnold says:


    I think denial and anger are linked. Michael and I were talking this last week about how some religious traditions seem to require having an “enemy”. There always has to be someone to blame, someone or something that can be the target of their anger. It’s funny, I don’t see it in the Gospels, I don’t see it in the Church Fathers…

  5. filbertz says:

    Duane, consider that the need for an enemy to warn of is not only to blame or focus anger, but it pushes the need for a fortress or safe haven and “we” are here for you. It creates a dependence, unhealthy in my estimation, for the local church or the denomination as the source for truth and correct world view, thus supplanting the omnipresent God/savior, the work of the Spirit, and the truth of the scriptures.

    As far as exhausted goes, I reached that place a while ago and what has helped is simplification, prioritization, physical activity outside, only watching/reading local news, and sharper focus on those things I do have some control over. The value of having hope isn’t simply a bandaid for our mindset or flaky optimism, but it is a bulwark or buttress for our lives in every regard. Much has been stripped away, but what remains is precious and worthy. I have reckoned that this pandemic and political/social environment is an opportunity to sift our lives and faith & reorient ourselves for the next phase. I have jettisoned much & there is more work to be done. Those who engage in this worthy pursuit will be better equipped to endure.

    Might you also, in the weeks ahead, share your thoughts on reconciliation between historically black congregations and those predominately white? To me it is a glaring picture of racism within the “camp.” Perhaps “reconciliation” isn’t the best word, but it is a starting place.

    many thanks for your hard work and contributions.

  6. Captain Kevin says:

    Good words, Duane.

    “There always has to be someone to blame, someone or something that can be the target of their anger.”

    I’ve been guilty of this too often. Need to remember we’ve been given the ministry of reconciliation.

  7. Em says:

    Wearing a mask meant that i could run errands after my nose surgery without scaring folk…
    But yes we ARE all weary – like Michael, i look forward to crawling under the covers at night….. my nurse daughter was exhausted to tears last night – but up and out of the house at 5 am for another long day
    Prayer and time in God’s Word helps – God keep all safe and comforted

  8. Duane Arnold says:


    Your reflections on why some groups always need an enemy are spot on…

    I’ll give thought to a piece on the race issue, but I’d rather write it in dialogue with a black pastor.

  9. Duane Arnold says:

    Captain Kevin,

    Many thanks…


    The wife of one of my good friends is an ER nurse. She’s been working 12 hour shifts for months, and the cases are spiking again. The exhaustion, the people they lose, the stress… it all takes a toll.

  10. pstrmike says:

    Actually, it is a great time to be a hermit. However, most people I know are anxious, wanting this to be over so they can fulfill their dreams of a leisurely retirement and travel. I keep hearing of plans from several of those I know to be gone much of 2021, and I wonder how much COVID will effect them.

    Everything has a shelf life these days, and I wonder if their prolonged absence is part of God’s way of moving me on from my current ministry assignment. I don’t want to be too hasty, but I’m not interested in providing a home base for people who simply want to come and go at their leisure. It’s going to be another interesting year.

  11. Duane Arnold says:


    The other side of this… when it comes… is going to be yet another adventure. Either we will learn from this time the need of community or, perhaps, we will conclude that community is unnecessary. In my reading, historically believers have drawn together in the face of such plagues (unlike the populace at large) but the intrusion of politics and other cultural issues may serve to drive us farther apart… (Just speaking of the US.)

  12. I am the aberration in all of this. Covid really has not bothered me because my life had been disrupted for years. It has slowed the world down to my speed. In the early weeks it was most noticable. I had the roads sorta to myself at night as normal PM activities changed.

    One major effect for me is the decrease of a concept of time. I can not identify where entire months have gone. Like walking around in permanent dementia. I had that before, but it has worsened with the pandemic.

    Another is an increased interest in understanding the physics of the Universe. If you will, a search for a personal theory of everything. If nothing else, this is a more satisfying pursuit then scratching roman numerals on my cell wall. The heighten reality of death, results in a coresponding heightened interest in understanding the nature of reality. Where we come from, what are we,where do we go after life, how does time work?

    The unanticipated feeling is that many Evangelicals would be quite hostile to my beliefs and theories I hold, if I articulated them.

  13. Duane Arnold says:


    The same questions occupy my thoughts these days. You are not alone…

  14. Babylon’s Dread says:

    Biden took some days off for his exhaustion. Seems timely.

  15. Em says:

    ahh Joe Biden… he deserves a rest… maybe in a rest home? it doesn’t seem fair that his party is exploiting him in his twilight years… is their goal to elect Kamala?…
    at least that is the way it looks from here

  16. Anon says:


    Nice job!

  17. Dan from Georgia says:

    The pandemic has been working on me to take things easier and slow down some and not rush around town all the time. Yeah, I am tired of putting on a mask just to go into CVS for a snack. So I either cut my trips short, combine them, or just don’t go out.

  18. Duane Arnold says:


    I assume that these remarks are the equivalent of political yard signs…

  19. Duane Arnold says:


    Sometimes it feels like time in slow motion…

  20. Jean says:

    Should we not be grateful to have such esteemed internet doctors serving us here?

  21. Mike E. says:

    One day a few months ago, I was sitting on my deck and I saw a majestic eagle in flight above my house. I have small dogs and they were outside with me, so I watched the eagle carefully. I had never in my life watched an eagle in flight for an extended period of time. What I noticed amazed me. The majestic bird of prey barely used its powerful wings at all. He simply soared on the wind. I watched for almost 20 minutes and didn’t see him flap his wings but a couple of times.
    I was reminded of the very famous verse in Isaiah 40:31.. (v.29) ”He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.”…I thought…the eagle doesn’t grow weary in flight because he SOARS. He uses the wind to carry him. We see this in all nature. Trees do not strive to bear their fruit; they simply be who they were created to be and the luscious fruit appears. I am not only weary of the politics and the pandemic. I am weary of life itself. Lord, help us all to cease striving and know that You are God. Teach us so to use the wings you have given us to soar in the wind of your Spirit. Please renew each of us as You promised You would. The entire 40th chapter of Isaiah is my wind today.
    Love to all. ❤️
    Isaiah 40:29-31

  22. Duane Arnold says:

    Mike E.

    From your lips to God’s ear…

  23. Em says:

    Dr. Duane @2:47am (2:47 AM ? ), could be. 😏. So…..
    Feel fee to pull mine out

  24. Em says:

    Mikr E @ 6:34am,
    That is BEAUTIFUL! Gonna cut and paste it somewhere….
    But i pulled a summer’s worth of grass out of a lava rockery (never build a rockery out of lava rock) yesterday and can’t lift my wings today.. . I’ll sit here in the tree top and ponder. 🙏
    Thank you for sharing that observation, thank you very much

  25. Duane Arnold says:


    It’s all good… just pointing out the obvious.

  26. Mike E. says:

    Aw Em..such a nice lady! Be careful to take care of your wings! ❤️

  27. Em says:

    Mike, i took the liberty of sharing your post anonymously with family by Email – hope you don’t object…
    Good feedback – in fact it may get read at a certain city council meeting tonight.. hope that’s okay, too. 😟

  28. Em says:

    Anybody here know what the Episcopal
    Holy Order of the Diaconate is ? ? !

  29. Duane Arnold says:


    In the Episcopal Church there are three orders of ordained ministry – deacon, priest and bishop. A deacon may either be transitional or permanent. All who exercise ordained ministry are first made deacons. For those who are seeking ordination to the priesthood, they first serve as a deacon for six months to a year (transitional). As deacons they can do everything apart from presiding at the Eucharist. The duties are practical. Permanent deacons do not aspire to the priesthood and perform their ordained ministry in more practical ways…

  30. Mike E. says:

    EM…nothing I have is mine. It all belongs to Him. Feel free. 🙂

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