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Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Stressed Out and Overwhelmed?

Well, the New Year (as well as the new semester) is underway! If you’re like me, you may feel a bit like an your mind is being slowly compressed in a flower-press. There is so much to do and think about— a list of assignments and homework that is literally as long as my arm, projects to finish, work to do, money to earn, promises to fulfill, friends and family to spend time with, lives to touch, souls to save, problems to solve, prayers to pray and the world to rescue! Who has time to do everything there is to do and experience? I’m wrestling with a thousand questions and trying to figure out my priorities. I’m trying to study for A’s but spend time with family, too. I’m trying to save money but be generous. I’m trying to plan for the future but follow God’s plans for my life. I’m trying to avoid wasting time and also avoid running myself to exhaustion. Can anyone relate?
Hopefully you, unlike me, have not yet dissolved into a useless mass of nerves and mush. Hopefully this will not happen to you at all this semester. Keep in mind the bigger picture of life. What is your purpose in life? Is it getting 100% instead of 92% on your history test? Of course not. At the same time, do not get so overwhelmed by your desire to save the planet and eradicate all forms of social injustice that you totally overwhelm yourself and render yourself incapable of doing anything efficiently. Take your opportunities as they come, and create opportunities for yourself, but realize that you can’t do anything single-handedly. Don’t miss the smaller pieces to the puzzle—you may not be able to go save an entire tribe of South American natives right now, but you can share your faith (and maybe a coffee date) with that lost person in your life. You can stop being busy in order to help someone move. You can look up from your computer or iPhone long enough to notice that someone is having a bad day, and take the opportunity to make it a good one for them.
    And last but not least—make sure to take time every day to read the Bible and pray. To those of us who have been in the Chruch for a while, this advice starts to sound cliché, but it’s the best way to stave of stress and keep your spirit full and your mind clear. Drishat Shalom—Peace to you!