Have you ever been so busy that your head is spinning? Does your task list keep growing…as soon as you accomplish one thing, two more are added? Do you work lots of hours and can’t seem to get ahead? Is your work/life balance out of wack? Do you feel stressed? Are you overwhelmed?
Join the club. Many people (probably most people) feel the same way much of the time. In fact, it’s the way I currently feel. I’ve recently had the privilege of being appointed to a new position at Franciscan University of Steubenville. As such, my weekly meeting schedule has practically doubled overnight. In working to combine several departments, we’re going through a strategic planning process while launching an additional major initiative. Add to that all the work I’ve historically been doing, none of which has gone away.
Sharing the above with a friend recently, he said, “boy…you sound like you’re overwhelmed”. He then sarcastically recommended that I read my own book, Overwhelming Pursuit: Stop Chasing Your Life and Live.
Why I’m Not Overwhelmed
In all deference to my friend, I’m not overwhelmed, although the last couple weeks have required many, many additional hours of my time. As opposed to my pre-conversion days, when I was a serious workaholic, I’m not overwhelmed for three specific reasons.
- Understanding my “Why” – It’s important to understand your “why”, that is why you’re doing what you’re doing. For the old me, it was all about what I refer to as the 4 Ps, prominence, possessions, pleasure, and people. I had this God sized hole in the center of my chest that I was trying to fill with all of these things that weren’t possibly going to make me happy…but I was pursuing them because of the world’s influence. My “who” was my “do”. My role was my identity.
Today those things mean much, much less to me. My “why”, my purpose is to serve our Lord and serve others, which are the things that bring me peace, joy, and fulfillment. You don’t have to be in ministry to do these things. You do need to understand your “why”
- Commitment to Peace over Pace – Back in the day, the pace always outstripped the peace. My work/life balance was always out of wack, with me working 60+ hours per week. Although exhausted by it, I thrived on the pace, topic for another blog. I now like to say, it’s all about the peace, not the pace.
Matthew Kelly, one of my favorite Catholic authors and speakers, likes to say, “you can only say “no” when you have a stronger “yes”. I have a strong “yes”, which includes being committed to peace in my life, not the incredibly high pace I used to live.
- Prayer – there is a peace to prayer. It comes with my rote prayers, which I say very slowly, hanging on every word. It also comes in meditating on Scripture. But mostly it comes in what Matthew Kelly calls the “classroom of silence”, where I share my thoughts, feelings, dreams, and challenges with our Lord, then just listen for His voice.
So while at the moment I have a lot on my plate, I know it will pass. And because of my relationship with our Savior, Jesus Christ, I’m not overwhelmed. He’s got the wheel. He’s in control. I’m just along for the ride.
As always, feel free to contact me with questions or comments at Mark@MarkJosephMinistries.com.
May God Bless you on your Path to Peace, Joy, and Fulfillment!!!!