Jennifer Fulwiler blogs at Conversion Diary. I do not often get time to read her blog, but this one day I decided to visit it because her latest blog was entitled – “The secret to not being overwhelmed.” Since being overwhelmed seems to be the story of my life lately, I meandered over to her blog to read what she had to say.
One time, when Jennifer was feeling overwhelmed with all she had to do, she had asked Fr. Langford, a friend of Mother Teresa, what Mother Teresa did when there seemed to be more work than she could handle. This was his answer:
“The [work she could not get to] she did not think twice about, nor should you or I, since God is not asking you to do what He does not give you the time (or health, or resources) to do. So be at peace.”
Well, that was certainly what I wanted. Peace. The stress of long to-do lists can really be overwhelming. No doubt about it.
I have always prayed to God to help me through my stressful times, but maybe I was not praying the right prayer. Maybe what I needed to do was to realize that if God didn’t give me the time to do something, then how important could it be?
Fr. Langford’s answer really resonated with me. The question is, would it help?
I didn’t have long to find out.
The next day at work was more hectic than usual. My co-worker was sick and I was alone. And I had a bunch of deadlines to meet.
So I prayed, Lord, please give me the time to do what I need to do and the peace to let go of what I don’t get done.
Well, it was a crazy day. Not without stress. But, I did sense an inner peace. I was able to handle phone calls and requests with kindness and even cheerfulness. And I got done the most important things that needed to be done. And let go of the other things on my to-do list. Tomorrow’s another day, I thought, as I left work and went home. On time.
So, I was able to get through a difficult day at work by thinking that God would give me the time I needed to do what he wants. Interesting that I got this message the day before I needed it.
And as I enter the busiest season of the year for parish secretaries, I give thanks to the Lord for giving me the answer.