Wednesday Word: Overwhelmed
Every once in awhile we arrive at a point where we seem to be overwhelmed with things to do and not nearly enough time or resources to accomplish them. Having a shortage of time and resources for some people is a daily occurrence. For others it happens much less frequently. No matter our situation, we all deal with the stress of running into those shortages in different ways. Some people probably list out what can easily be done and work their way through the more difficult tasks, accomplishing one at a time with a sense of pride. On the other end of that scale, some people become so overwhelmed with what needs to be done and their limited resources that they just lie down and take a nap. I tend to swing between those two extremes.
For the first time since the pandemic began I am suddenly feeling overwhelmed. I'm suddenly faced with new COVID guidelines about everything from cleaning to regathering. I'm trying to balance those new guidelines with many questions about when we can begin implementing those guidelines here at Saint John's. Add to that trying to figure out how to best implement the return of any number of ministries in and around the church. There are times when I'm certain as to how to proceed and where to start. There are times when I just want to lie down and take a nap.
I bring this up not to complain about my job, or to use the people of Saint John's as a type of sounding board, but to remind you that where there's one there are probably many.
In other words, right about now many of us are probably beginning to feel stressed or overwhelmed about any number of things going on in the world. We all have issues and concerns that have cropped up. Because, if you think about it, this time last year was easy – Stay home, mask up, sanitize everything, avoid contact with people, etc. etc. etc. But now . . . vaccinated people were told they could do one thing last week, and this week they can do something else. Last week we had to still be careful about common-touch items, but today I read that's not as necessary as we thought. These and many other things seem to be changing rapidly.
We all have concerns. We are all being bombarded with new information on a daily, or sometimes hourly, basis. Each of us has a point of feeling overwhelmed, and that point is different for everybody.
So this is your official reminder: Be gentle with others. Be patient. Learn to see each step forward not as a shortfall of where you want to be, but as a gift of progress from where we've come.
We are all moving forward, but it will take more work than we might have originally thought.