I sit here at my desk sipping on my mug of Choffy, hoping it will help me knock off the spacey feeling that comes from allergy medications so I can get to work. Even with the medicine in my system, my eyes burn from everything that gets stirred into the air as corn and rice are being harvested. Meanwhile, the ant bites on my ankle and the mosquito bites lining both legs aren’t helping matters. The to-do list for the week is pretty full, especially considering that we are back in school this week. When combined with the allergy-induced spaciness, a full to-do list can feel incredibly overwhelming. And when I feel overwhelmed, it can be difficult to prioritize and tackle tasks methodically and systematically. I have a hard time truly processing what all actually does need to be accomplished, making the list seem much bigger than it probably is. Oh, and absolutely everything seems to need to come first. It makes me want to just toss it all overboard and curl up with my book instead.
Fortunately for me, finishing the book is a high priority on the list because it is a review book, but that doesn’t mean I can just toss everything else. So, I will instead actually make sure that overwhelming to-do list is accurately written down and then make myself prayerfully prioritize. Every task to a day, and every day tackled one hour at a time. All while forcing a refocusing of my attention from the to-do list to the One who ordains every one of my days in the first place.
Just making that statement makes me sit up a little straighter and feel a little less overwhelmed. It always amazes me what a little perspective can accomplish.
Years ago, a friend of mine and I had a conversation about spiritual growth that closely resembles how I feel today. She was a new believer, and she had been diving into Scripture with abundant enthusiasm. The more she read, the more she hungered to learn. She would ask question after question after question, revealing just how little she knew about God and His Word, and how much she wanted to know more. One morning, though, I noticed that she was very discouraged. When I asked if she was okay, she told me that she just felt so overwhelmed. She felt that she would never learn all there was to learn and that God was going to punish her for all of the things she couldn’t get right immediately.
As we talked, I encouraged her to slow down and take things one step at a time. I asked her a few questions to help her narrow down what command God was placing before her that day. We discussed what she needed to do practically to obey that one command. Tomorrow might require something entirely different of her, but she couldn’t worry about tomorrow. She just had to obey today.
Whether it be to-do lists, spiritual growth, or any other worries, pressures, or obligations that face us, it can be easy to feel overwhelmed. Hmmm…that might be why God gave us the perfect command.
But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. So do not worry about tomorrow; for tomorrow will care for itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own. Matthew 6:33-34
If we are seeking His kingdom and His righteousness, we are not focused on how overwhelming the daily implementation of service to Him might be. We are also not focused on just how much we have to learn or how naturally incapable we are of following His commands. The list diminishes and the simple action of step-by-step obedience takes over. We accomplish one task at a time until one day we wake up and realize we’re done, not just with the to-do list, but with every step of life that is leading us to eternity with our Savior.
Are you feeling overwhelmed today? Seek His face. Seek His kingdom. Seek His righteousness. Then do what is right in front of you and trust Him with the rest. One day at a time. One task at a time. One step of obedience at a time. All with every ounce of focus on Him and Him alone.