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Bouncing Balls

“God has a task for you. He has handed you a stone. It is smaller than a loaf of bread and easy to carry. He asks you if you can carry it. He asks you to carry it up to the top of this mountain. You can take your time. He asks you to affirm that you can do this task for him. Off you go carrying the Lord’s stone. Along your journey you run into some family members, a few friends, some acquaintances and even a few complete strangers. You learn that the Lord has also given these people stones. He has asked them to carry their stones to the mountain top as well. Each person has all the time they need to bring the Lord his stone. Sometimes you offer to help out and accept their stones. You are going to the top of the mountain anyways, right?  Other times, a person solicits your assistance and asks you to take their stone. Each time, you add their stone to your pack. Eventually, you have to get a cart as the load has become very heavy. By the time you get to the top of the mountain, you are barely able to walk. You are bitter and angry. You question God and ask Him WHY has he given you such a heavy burden. He appears before you and offers his greeting. He is happy to see you but realizes you are quite unhappy and frustrated. He senses your doubt. He asks why you are bitter. You unload on Him. You ask Him why he gave you so much, how could he think you could ever carry such a load. He looks down at the stone in your hands and smiles. He then looks over your shoulder at the wagon you have harnessed to your back.

“What are those?” He asks. You explain that you were helping out. Offering to your friends, family and even the needy stranger your assistance. He looks at you for a long second and then says, I gave your your rock for a reason. I also gave each of those rocks to each of those other people for a reason. It was their lesson to learn. You have not helped them. I only wanted you to carry this one rock. You can trust me.”

It is so easy to feel overwhelmed. To get lost in the sense that there is just TOO MUCH to do, TOO MUCH going on. How can we possibly ever get it all done? One of the other blogs I read is The Glass is Too Big. I liked the name simply by the fact that the author shifted his perspective. Instead of accepting the 2 party line of “half full vs half empty”, he opines that the glass is just too much.

I see so many patients come through my office with the singular malady of time sickness. They are simply too tightly budgeted for time. I can identify this disorder because I too suffer under this condition.  I am not wise. I am thick-headed and only through my own travails, have I learned to identify this particular state of being.

I know I am juggling too much. I am like so many of these patients I see. I have juggled most of my life. My parents would remark about how driven I was as a teen. I “multi-task” well and to an observer I think I appear to be capable and competent at handling so many things. When I hit my mark, I feel really good. I even like the elegance and complexity of keeping so many balls in the air. Unfortunately, I am occasionally thrown a chainsaw. I am conditioned to try to work that into rotation. I should just jump aside and let that deadly machine fly by and not risk life and limb. Instead, I can put the entire feat in jeopardy because I don’t know how to say NO!.

I am also juggling a few glass balls. They are fragile and irreplaceable. If I drop them, they cannot be mended. If I drop them, EVERYONE will notice. I make the mistake of worrying about all the rubber balls. The balls that will bounce: work, chores, volunteering. I need to learn to screw the housework and the laundry. Forget the weeds in the garden. Eat fish sticks and tater tots. AND…I need to accept that those rubber balls are REALLY not that important.

It is the homework with my kids. The story time at night. The laughter with my husband. The coffee with my best friend. It is my private time in prayer. Savor the moment. No one will give me an award for juggling chainsaws. No one will give me an award for bedtime stories.  But, in my heart, the fairy tales and the TIME with my child is sweetness and light and renews my soul. The chainsaw only fills me with fear and dread and apprehension.

I need to listen to God and only carry this small stone he has set in my hands. I’ll see you all at the top of the mountain.

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