“Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”Matthew 11:28-30
I was scheduled to close at work recently, and on those days, I typically do not start work until 9:45am or so. I had scheduled a haircut for 9:00am and was looking forward to the coming weekend. We have a team meeting on Friday and the team is usually in good spirits, so I look forward to Friday for obvious reasons. I decided to go into the office that day, and I had smile on my face as I made the journey from the garage to my desk. I walked the aisles of desks to greet the team, and one of my employees told me she had sent me a message she needed me to look at. I told her I would address it right after our team meeting, but it did not stop there for me as I logged in and was immediately greeted with other messages that were pending my attention.
I also received a message from a director advising me that I needed to check up on one of my co-workers who I was covering for the week. She told me I needed to clear his payments ASAP and let her know when I was done. I then got two more messages from others needing my assistance, and my meeting was about to start in two minutes for which I was leading and needing to go through a PowerPoint I was presenting. My head was spinning as I tried to keep calm with my team, and I ran the PowerPoint as I responded to these messages trying not to give away that I was multi-tasking and not giving my full attention to the meeting. I already felt that I had 24 hours of work to do and not enough hours in the day to do it. I told my director the payments would have to wait until after my meeting. I usually have about 8-10 payments a day that I need to review and approve, so I figured I would blow through this task as soon as my meeting was over.
My meeting ended after our allotted hour, and I looked into the payment and there were about 70 payments that needed to be approved and my heart sank. I looked at my voicemails, which jumped from 3 to 8 in a matter of minutes. I then got a message that someone was giving someone on my team a hard time and needed me to review a file and calm the situation. I wanted to shout that I needed calming as I was feeling overwhelmed and did not know which task to do first. I got through the payments after two hours or so, and it was way past time for lunch for which I was meeting a friend from work. I needed to be an encouragement to him, so I suppressed my stress and acted like everything was all good. The day only got more stressful as I dealt with someone who was giving one of my employees a hard time and wanted to talk to me and do the same. We spoke for over an hour and we finally came to a resolution to the situation that had been ongoing for over two months. I was drained from the day and that conversation when someone came to my desk to ask for help. My face looked stressed and they asked if I was okay. I smiled and said “yes, busy, but doing well”. Was I lying to hide my stress or was I telling the truth?
Well, the secret was that I decided to stop and pray and asked for help earlier in the day when the tasks assigned to me mounted much like the “I Love Lucy” episode in which the chocolates ran down the assembly line and she simply could not keep up. I was overwhelmed a few months ago when Rebekah my wife asked me if I had prayed. I hate to make the same mistake twice, so I remembered that and bowed my head and asked God for clarity and wisdom to complete the tasks that were in front of me. I gave him the burdens of my day, and I began to sing, “How Can I Fear?” by Ron Hamilton. My tasks did not go away but one by one I began to tackle them, and I felt as though a burden was lifted off of me. I usually would have sought a coworker to complain to, but there was no time for this, and seeking the Lord was a much better solution. He is there for all of our needs as He seeks to move the burdens off of us and onto Himself. We tend to wait until things get to the point where we are past overwhelmed until we seek Him.
I asked God to help me be kind to those who asked me questions and to my employees and not to take out my stress on them. God helped to calm my nerves and stress level, and He gave me a peace and calm that I should not have had in light of what I was facing. His yoke is easy and His burden is light. He is interested in the stresses of our lives as He has allowed these so that we may learn from Him and know Him in a way not possible without the stresses of life.
What are you facing today? Are you facing a stressful situation in your life? Are you focusing on your problem more than your God? Do things seem insurmountable? Do you feel defeated? Are you taking your stress out on others, or are you giving it to God? Do you need rest for your noisy soul? May we seek Him early and may we find the rest that only He can give.