How does life get so busy? Well, I guess I can answer that question; I let it get that way. I say yes to everything only to discover that I can't quite handle everything. Right now, I've got the Christmas season along with all our winter retreats approaching, I've got finals coming up in my seminary classes, I've got pressure from just about everyone to go and get my commercial driver license so that I can drive out church shuttle, I've got barely enough to pay all my bills, my apartment is a mess, I've got a bachelor party to plan for my friend Danny who's getting married in January, I have two lessons to teach for which I have not yet prepared, and I feel like I'm going to explode! There's just a lot going on right now.
We all get ourselves into messes, sometimes very big ones. But the truth of the matter is, our stress comes from an illusion. Our stress comes from the illusion of control and our need to own our work. Perhaps we wouldn't feel out of control if we didn't feel the need to control in the first place. Perhaps we wouldn't feel the guilt of failure, or even potential failure, if we truly believed that it's not our work after all. If we're doing anything worth while, it's all God's work. It's God's unrepeatable work of which we're only a part and in which we're only invited.
If we took hold of these truths prior to getting ourselves in a mess, we'd be better off. We'd have the freedom to focus our lives and produce in creativity rather than mechanism. But even if we can take hold of these truths after we've already gotten ourselves into it, we'll be better suited to handle it. We'll be able to pause and to take deep breaths and allow the God whose yoke is easy and whose burden is light to take our load and to absorb our pressure. With this God, we are invited to take deep breaths even when our instincts tell us that there's no time for deep breaths.
After all, how can we expect anything we do to be worth the doing if it is not filled with the life-giving breath of God's Spirit from beginning to end?