Feeling Overwhelmed? Here’s an Antidote.

By: Vivian Wilson

Young pretty businesswoman juggling with white balls

I am in a season of life where I find myself overwhelmed at times because there are not enough hours in the day to accomplish everything that cries for my attention.  I become paralyzed by the suffocating pressure of too many commitments and/or responsibilities.  Some of this is by my own hand, I said “yes” when I should have said “no”.  Some are circumstances that are out of my control, like some additions that happen after plans and schedules were already set, i.e. my sisters wedding this weekend.

Retirement is occasionally painted as lazy, carefree days spent reading for hours, on a hammock, while eating bon bons.  Or perhaps you envision LONG lunches with close friends.  You name it.  We have a picture of “paradise” for many leisurely hours.  I personally have never experienced anything like this, however, while I am inundated with never-ending “to-do” lists, I will hold on to hope.

My youngest brother, “Pastor Chip” (or should I say “Dr. Chip”), and I enjoy playing cribbage.  This is a game using a deck of cards and a board that has a bunch of little holes so that you can “peg” your way around it by counting points.  I almost always win.  Well, I win a lot.  Actually it seems to run in streaks.  During one of my very long winning streaks, there emerged a “game within a game”.  Chip started it by whining about his cards.  That I was winning was because of luck, was his complaint, and it just wasn’t fair.  His goal was for me to take pity on his unfortunate situation and somehow help him out so he could win a few games.  I told him he was whining.  He said he wasn’t whining but simply pointing out the injustice of the game.  HE WAS WHINING!  (If you have ever been around children, you’ve witnessed the scene I just described).

Whining is the method I use to invite others to attend my “pity party” when I am overwhelmed with life.  I want them to come and tell me I am a poor victim of circumstances and agree with me about everything.

I’m thinking I should start a support group for anyone who finds himself overwhelmed with the responsibilities and commitments that come with life as a spouse, parent, sibling, or you name it, any relationship.

OH, WAIT!  ONE ALREADY EXISTS.  IT IS CALLED THE C H U R C H.

So here is a better antidote for my paralyzed state.  When I feel overwhelmed, I should first take my eyes off of myself and put them on God asking Him to help me have a servant’s heart.  Then, because I know that I am not the only person in the world who feels overwhelmed, focus on the needs of others.

Maybe, unlike me, no one has come whining to you about their life.  But that doesn’t mean that they aren’t overwhelmed or that I can’t be a blessing to them.  And it is very easy to be a blessing.  I can pick up the phone and call someone.  (This is not a time to text).  Or even better, I can write a note with my own hand, using pen and paper, put a stamp on an addressed envelope, and mail it.  (I thought some of you may have forgotten the procedure for sending “snail mail”).

Proverbs 12:25  “An anxious heart weighs a man down, but a kind word cheers him up”.

Proverbs 16:24  “Pleasant words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones”.

As the church we should do no less for one another.  I believe this should be an intentional act of obedience to the command to humbly consider others better than myself.  (Philippians 2:3)

I am challenging myself to bless someone every day with a note or a phone call.  The great thing is that this gives me joy and blesses me.  Join me.  Your kind words of encouragement could be the exact balm that your friend, brother or sister in Christ, or family member needs at the exact time it needs to be heard or read.  Let’s be blessings!

A work in progress,

Vivian

P.S.  There is no rule that says you can’t bless more than one person per day.