Feeling Overwhelmed

NeoncupYou know the feeling–well, maybe you do.


You wake up and a gray cloud has moved overhead.  You feel down, maybe melancholy.  You look in the mirror and you are not smiling.  Don’t worry about "face management."  It’s just you.


For a few moments some cloudy thoughts race through you mind.  Maybe you think about the future.  You wonder what you will be doing and where you will be in life.  You think about some frustrations that you are dealing with. 


This is exactly the way I woke up this morning.  Feeling low, overwhelmed, and ready to make an exit–somewhere.  It doesn’t take much to feel like that.  Sometimes, it is just a sense that one thing is stacking on top of another.  It may be a number of "little things" that linger like gum that I can’t quite get off the bottom of my shoe. Whether they are big or an accumulation of small ones, they are there and are very real.


Then I read Peggy Noonan’s latest column this morning.  She is describing the general mood and anxiety of the nation.


The special prosecutors, the scandals, the spin for the scandals, nuclear proliferation, wars and natural disasters, Iraq, stem cells, earthquakes, the background of the Supreme Court backup pick, how best to handle the security problems at the port of Newark, how to increase production of vaccines, tort reform, did Justice bungle the anthrax case, how is Cipro production going, did you see this morning’s Raw Threat File? Our public schools don’t work, and there’s little refuge to be had in private schools, however pricey, in part because teachers there are embarrassed not to be working in the slums and make up for it by putting pictures of Frida Kalho where Abe Lincoln used to be. Where is Osama? What’s up with trademark infringement and intellectual capital? We need an answer on an amendment on homosexual marriage! We face a revolt on immigration.


Oh my–maybe I didn’t need to read that.  That is overwhelming and depressing.  Maybe what I needed to read instead was something that would remind me that its not up to me.  It is not up to me to figure out, solve, or fix.   The mess in this life (or at times, in my life) is bigger than what a human can fix.


Maybe I needed to read something like this:


But the eyes of the LORD are on those who fear him, on those whose hope is in his unfailing love,  19 to deliver them from death and keep them alive in famine.  20 We wait in hope for the LORD; he is our help and our shield.  21 In him our hearts rejoice, for we trust in his holy name.  22 May your unfailing love rest upon us, O LORD, even as we put our hope in you.  (Ps. 33:18-22)


God is very much in control.

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2 thoughts on “Feeling Overwhelmed

  1. Hi Jim. I’ve missed your blog. This is the first time I’ve read it since Katrina ripped our lives apart. Providential? Perhaps. I certainly identify with what you are writing, and am edified by the passage you quote. I haven’t read anyone’s blog, just posted on my own when I could. Anyhoo….thanks … as always. I hope I get to meet you someday. I think we would have a lot to talk about.

  2. John–I’ve tried to keep up with you via your blog. Hope that you are seeing some progress at this point after the destruction of Katrina.

    I look forward to meeting you at some point. Good to hear from you.