Written by Steve Stutzman
DTL... not sure what else to call it - the Desire To Live.
The “sweet energy juices” of life, as my daughters call it.
This is what makes you want to get up and go, and what seems to be absent when your ‘get-up-and-go’ done got up and left.
There seems to be quite a bit of this available at early ages, especially among youngsters with tired mommies.
As one moves through youth into adulthood, the supply becomes more measured. That is when a person becomes aware of the wisdom of this statement: Be careful how you use up your DTL, because when it is gone, it is gone.
DTL is expended in several ways, with common work being the most obvious. Work hard all day, and you get exhausted, and just want to sit, because your DTL is running low.
Relationships also suck out DTL, especially relationships that TAKE and don’t give back.
Relationships with needy, DTL-bankrupt people can leave you about as drained as a marathon, maybe more.
People who have turned into robotic, performance-oriented, emotionally low-level, relationless individuals, sometimes can deplete the DTL of others simply by being in the same place. Working with hurting people drains out about as much DTL as anything I have found.
Travel takes out a significant amount of DTL, and increases its depletion proportionately as time zones are crossed.
When we go on extended ministry trips, we have learned to schedule days at the end for “crash” days. It differs for each of us in the family, but one of the first 3 days home will be a real tail-dragger for someone.
It can be ‘pushed past’ if completely necessary, but is done so at the expense of future days. In such cases, the DTL is simply being borrowed from a future date... and that date is then depleted.
It is my persuasion that this is the primary reason for the thing called “burnout” . . . people borrowing DTL from the future over a long period of time and ending up bankrupt.
DTL can be artificially exaggerated and overstimulated to the point of exhaustion also. This is often done by drugs or substance abuse of some sort. Ultimately, there will be a crash, very often a physical one as well as an emotional meltdown.
Because DTL exists in limited supply, people have to portion it out carefully.
The housewife tries to find enough to feed hungry mouths, then to reach around to hungry relationships with each person, with enough left over to clean up the kitchen, make her husband feel loved, sweep the living room, do a little laundry and not collapse.
Very often, the need to accomplish a certain amount of work turns men into workaholics with nothing left to give in relationships.
Not being DTL conscious, men have a notion that relationships should just “exist” with no need for DTL to be poured into them.
This is a huge learning curve for some of us, especially since we charged out of our youth years, every day, with enough DTL leftover to burn in the fireplace.
We plowed massive amounts of it into the girl we dated, then when we were married 5 years, seemed to run out of it and expect she has had enough. Women tend to get slightly bitter about such things.
Bitterness, anger, immorality, pornography, jealousy, rejection, and a whole list of other sins, also suck DTL right out of the being, including FB and social media.
Fighting God, and His Value System, can be truly exhausting.
The welfare dude on his porch, refusing to work, is often just clean out of DTL. He has fought against everything God says for so long he is bankrupt. All current supply is being exhausted in sheer existence.
Many times, folks are addicted to the very thing that is actually bleeding them dry.
This means, when they get empty, they turn to the thing that drained them, to fill them, (porn, video games, FB, drugs) and become even more bankrupt.
Any involvement in the underworld and witchcraft exacerbates the problem.
This sort of interior fighting against something that cannot be seen, and thereby depleting all DTL, is the most common reason for depression.
Often, depression becomes obvious when a person has no desire to live; they lay around, can’t function well, feel horrible, are suicidal, etc.... no DTL.
Fighting the invisible for long periods of time creates chemical imbalances also.
This is why a counselor, or even psychiatrist, will seek from the beginning to uncover if there is something hidden that needs to come to light, because hiding past events drains DTL.
Persons fighting to keep from sliding down a slope into depression should seek help, because the fighting is making it worse.
DTL, as I see it, is a soul issue.
The Bible says in Psalm 23, “He restoreth my soul.”
DTL is something God does inside us.
It can be put back in, built up, strengthened, in us, through praise. . . especially loud, freely expressed, corporate, organic, expressions of the Spirit to God.
Eph.5:18-20 says, And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit; 19 Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord; 20 Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ; )
This also includes using our mouth to bless those around us, and is given in direct opposition to the notion of using wine to bolster DTL.
Be careful with DTL. Don’t waste it.
Love freely, but be careful how much DTL is being removed from you by others.
Prioritize. Change things in life if you have to.
Put the DTL where it accomplishes the most good in the Kingdom.
Encourage someone today, it is the only thing that lifts DTL in both of you at the same time!