Monday, July 26, 2010

Living in overwhelm can mean having too much to do and not enough time to do it. Or it can mean having limited time and energy to get tasks done. Or it could mean living with the fear that you’re not capable of getting a job done. Overwhelm has emotional overtones of stress and anxiety, and it exhibits itself physically, as well. Chronic overwhelm is one of the major causes of anxiety and anxiety disorders. When you’re overwhelmed, your mind overloads with all that’s going on. When you’re overwhelmed, you feel as if you’re carrying a heavy load, a burden. Carrying around this weight takes a toll on your nervous, immune and hormonal systems, and left unattended, likely will produce cycles of anxiety, fatigue and temporary despair. People on this kind of overload are more susceptible to disease and they age faster. What can you do about overload?

My guilt overwhelms me— it is a burden too heavy to bear. Psalm 38:4

An ancient Greek myth holds that Zeus punished the Titans for waging war against him. As the leader of the Titans, Atlas received a harsh punishment. He was forced to hold up an extraordinarily heavy weight. The proverbial version has him holding the weight of the world on his shoulders. When we become overstressed and overwhelmed, we often feel we’re holding the weight of the world on our shoulders. Each year when I go to New York City, I walk past the GE Building and see a huge statue of Atlas, straining under the weight of the world. Then I walk across the street and down the block to enter St. Patrick’s Cathedral. There I see the beautiful Pieta statue, a work of art that depicts the body of Jesus on the lap of his mother Mary after the Crucifixion. I am reminded that when he died on the cross, Jesus took the weight of this world’s sin and sorrow off our shoulders and put it on His shoulders.

Are you letting him carry your weight?

Give your burdens to the LORD, and he will take care of you. He will not permit the Godly to slip and fall. Psalm 55:2


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