Have you ever been overwhelmed?
I feel like maybe that question is a little bit rhetorical. Maybe I don’t have to ask it at all.
If you’ve been alive for more than, I don’t know, a minute, you’ve definitely been overwhelmed. Parents on your case about something, tests to study for, homework to do, classes to go to, kids running all around, work, work, work, work, work.
Can we just agree that at some point in our lives we’ve all been overwhelmed? Good. That’s a great starting point.
I’m kind of in an overwhelmed state right now myself. House things piling up. Work is crazy busy. Budget and money things not exactly going the way they should. We just finished a show at the theatre where my kids acted and did stage crew, costumes, and makeup. My wife produced that show and I kind of helped where I could. Other things at the theatre are going on as well. I’m about to take over as President of the Board of Directors next month. I want to write more and start to exercise and all these other things. It’s just a crazy busy season for me and I’m not really seeing the way out right now.
So when I have these seasons, when I reach these points in my life I have a tendency to do one of two things. I either checkout and do nothing (my default) or I go all in and ignore everyone and everything else around me.
In my personal life right now I feel like I’ve kind of gone the checkout route. I don’t want to do anything. I feel apathetic and lazy and like I have no energy.
At work though … at work it’s different. I want to go, go, go. I don’t want to stop for anything or anybody. I’m really in this season where I see everything that doesn’t have to do with me getting work done as a distraction. We’ve got deadlines to hit and things we need to finish. Any extra meetings, no matter how much they seem like they would be good just feel like they are getting in the way of the stuff I know I have to get done.
I feel like the most important thing I can do is get the work done.
Deep inside me (well … not all that deep actually) I know that this is not true. The things that I feel like are distractions are probably the exact things that I need to lean into the most. But right now, whether it’s true or not, I just don’t feel like I have the time to lean into anything other than what I have to get done. I know better and yet I don’t do better, you know?
A good friend of mine named Brian reminded me of something the other day that kind of hit me right between the eyes. We were having a team meeting during which we were just sort of sharing about what the Lord has been doing lately. When it was my turn I just talked about what I mentioned above. I shared that I feel overwhelmed and tired and that I have so much to do; that even the meeting we were in was just a distraction from what I really needed to be doing right now.
Brian reminded the group (but God meant it for me) that the most important things that we can contribute to what God is doing here is not just the things that we can type into a computer. We have so much more to contribute and God has so many other things for us to do that are much more important than that.
In this busy time I don’t really want to believe that’s true. I want to push harder, work more. I have stuff to do, after all. But whether or not I want to believe it doesn’t make it any less true. I am more than what I can type into a computer.
I was blessed to be reminded that I am more than what I do between 9 and 5 on most weekdays. I have more to contribute and in different ways than just sitting at this keyboard and staring at this screen.
And you do too. You are more than what you do. Your identity is not in what you can do but in who you are and, more importantly, whose you are.
We so readily identify with what we do and what contributions we can make that we forget to take the time to just sit in the realization we are loved and cared for by the creator of the universe. That even if we did nothing else for the remainder of our lives we are enough.
We get so busy that we lose sight of why we’re busy in the first place. We have so much to do that we forget to be thankful for the ability to do anything.
Who I am is not what I do. I was reminded of that this week when I needed it the most. Maybe you need that reminder too? You’re not just what you do. You are, in fact, so much more.