Thursday, October 8, 2009


Anyone else feeling overwhelmed?
It all piles up.
Deadlines at work make for longer hours and more packed hours.
House "administration", fixing, paying, logging, trimming.
A Sabbath that isn't, because of meetings and trainings in addition to church, itself.
Friends I'm trying to befriend, disciples I'm trying to disciple, and leaders I'm trying to lead.

And e-mails to open, blogs to read...
...and blogs to write.

So what happens?
Mail I used to read gets summarily tossed with catalogs I used to peruse.
Invitations get turned down.

And I get resentful at all those church conferences, meetings, seminars, retreats, orientations, trainings, etc., that keep popping up.

And I stay up too late and am too tired the next day to function well or have a good attitude.

No additional church activities, please!
(But I will sign up for a six-week Flannery O'Connor class at Emory.)
((Now that makes sense.))

Is anyone else feeling overwhelmed?


  1. Arnold,

    It is amazing how timely this is. I'm right there with you, brother, so stressed out and overworked I wrote my boss a long email about it this morning. But then I deleted it. Sometimes you just have to deal. And there comes a time of rest, eventually. That rest will be chosen by us through a painful decision to cut off things we enjoy but don't need, or it will be forced upon us by circumstances and ill health and mental strain and the unexpected breakdown that forces us to pause. We might be angry when this happens. But at the end of it all is God, calling us to Himself in a voice that is at once quieter than all of the earthly demands and stronger - more persistent - than they are. His sheep know His voice, and we follow Him. If not, He binds our legs together and slings us over his shoulder and carries us. We seem to be out of commission, but we're actually in a wonderful place of trust-building dependence. These are hard lessons to learn, but necessary to our growth under the difficult reality of being time-bound and priority-driven. It will be wondrously freeing to enter eternity, and establish an intent focus on Him that cannot be turned even slightly by the raging distraction of less worthy things.

    Till then, this is a wretched and uncomfortable life, filled with sorrow, trouble . . . and flashes of imperishable delight whenever He shows His hand or reveals His smile. Mercy and grace are drawing us up to our eternal rest, even as this world wraps its tentacles more tightly around our feet. We may feel pulled in two different directions, but let us lift our heads and smile up toward the One Who holds our hands more tightly and tenaciously than this world's distractions ever could. He won this tug of war before we knew it.

    I guess all of this stress is making me poetic.


  2. Derek, that's a good word. Thanks.

  3. Okay, Arnold, when you have a minute

    Hope you feel better soon.