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On Being Over Burdened

I sit in church with my journal open on my lap, writing the thoughts that come into my head. The page fills up with things done and things yet to do. The pieces of my life tumble out and I try to put them into order on the page. I begin to plan the week to come, surely this is a good use of my Sabbath contemplation time. I shuffle the pieces and assign them to days, half listening to the speaker at the pulpit.

My pen pauses in its track on the page. Where do faith and peace fit into this schedule I’m creating? Where are the spaces for contemplation and inspiration? Mine is not the only plan for this week. My Father in Heaven sees more hearts than I can. He knows when I am needed to solve a problem for another person. Yet I have constructed a schedule with all the hours defended and assigned. I erect barricades to prevent anything else from adding to the load that I already carry. No. I can’t do that. I’m too busy. And thus I shut out not just people who carelessly ask me to expend my energy on unimportant things, but also God whose errands are always worthwhile.

I look at my neatly arrayed task list and know that I need to be open to inspiration as I sort my plans for the week. I need to be prepared for my plans to change at a moment’s notice. I tap my pen next to the first item. Does it really matter? Is this thing I intend to assign myself really important? Does it serve a larger goal. My pen pauses for a moment and I reach for answers. Yes. It stays. My pen points to the next item and pauses. No. It is busy work. I cross it off. Pause by pause down my list.

My life is over full. I have more things to do that I should reasonably be able to manage. When I am done with checking my items, I add a few more. They are things which I feel should be added to my long list. As I do a calm confidence fills me. When I over burden myself, I struggle with my load. When I am open, when I take on additional burden because it is right and needed, then I am also granted the capacity to carry that burden. The new burdens, and all the others I accumulated for myself, are made light. I face the week with hope and joy rather than worry and stress.

3 comments to On Being Over Burdened

  • Ketira

    You’re doing what a lot of people fail to do with that list –Prioritize! It’s just that you’re using a Higher Standard to start with, that’s all.

    I’m also guilty of not doing this, but one of my priorities this week is to (hopefully) find a cheaper source for my most expensive medication. It just happens to be the one that helps me think. :/

  • Kate

    So I feel kind of stalker-ish because I’ve been lurking on your blog on and off since last June where I met you at a convention and I never comment… I just want to say some of your everyday entries have been really helpful in letting me look critically about organizing my life to let me be the creative person I want to be, while doing everything else that needs to be done. I really appreciate the insights here.

    It’s very reassuring when I’m trying to squeeze in teaching my little girl how to read in between conference calls and bug reports, debating whether to cheat on the diet because I desperately want to go eat out with my husband so we can brainstorm just how to get this one scene to work, or a hundred other things, to know that there aren’t really any wrong answers.