Overwhelmed?

I have been trying to write this particular post for over a week now…I’m not sure that it will ever be “ready” but here you go my friends.

I once heard this story a few years ago, I don’t remember if I made it up or if I heard it from somewhere, but I’ve been thinking about it lately.  The story goes like this…

There was a man named John whose master told him load a large boulder into his cart and take it to the top of a hill.  John was happy to serve his master and got right to his task.  As John pushed his cart up the hill he came across a fellow servant, Aaron, carrying a large sack full of sand.  Aaron asked John if he could put his sack in the cart too, after all, it wouldn’t add much weight and it needed to go to the same place.  John agreed and Aaron loaded the sack onto John’s cart. He continued toward the top of the hill.  On his way he passed another servant, Joseph, who was carrying two baskets full of rocks.  John stopped for a moment to rest and offered to take the baskets to the top of the hill for Joseph.  As John continued on his way, the weight of the cart began to get to him.  As the day wore on, he got more and more tired…and as he grew weary, anger began to rise up in him.

“Why did my master ask me to do this by myself?  This is too much for me on my own! I’m not going to make it up this hill with this load!” 

As the man sat down to rest, his master came up the road. “Why haven’t you brought that boulder up to the top of the hill like I asked you? You should’ve returned by now.”  Then looking into John’s cart he saw the too baskets and the sack. “What’s all this?” After tossing the extra items out of the cart his master looked at John and pointed to the cart, “Now, complete the task I gave you and let them complete theirs.”

At first glance, we see John as a great helper, willing to lend a hand, but let’s take a closer look.  If John was helping his fellow workers, they would have gone with him to the top of the hill, pushing and pulling along side each other.  Instead, John took their job and tried to do it for them.  The dilemma…he started having a hard time taking care of the task his master gave him!  Then his helpfulness…turned into grumbling against his master.

How often to we find ourselves in that same situation?  We have a desire to obey Galatians 6:2 by helping those around us, but how often do we take on more responsibility than we should?  How often do we end up doing someone else’s job for them, rather than helping them instead?  We have the jobs that God has given us and when we start adding to that job we begin to allow ourselves to be overwhelmed and waaaaaaaay too busy to even complete our original task!  Sometimes we get so busy we can’t even enjoy the task at hand because we’re already trying to figure out how we’re going to accomplish the next thing…or 10 things…on our list.

Sometimes we need to sit back and breath for a moment.  Make a list of everything you do, whether it’s your job at work, at home, things you do at church, in your community, at your kids’ school, or whatever else.  Pray and then ask yourself a few questions….

  • Is there something here only I can do?
  • Is there something here I can delegate?
  • What is on this list that I don’t HAVE to do?  What are some things that I can live without?
  • What is on this list that isn’t actually my responsibility?  Does it need to go back to the person it belongs to?

You may need someone you trust to take a look at the list you have made and ask them to help you dwindle it down, they may see something you don’t; preferably someone who already has an idea of your schedule.  They may also be able to come up with a solution you wouldn’t have even thought of on your own.

In this way, we can honor God with the time and tasks He has given us so that we can go about our tasks with a joyful heart, working for our beloved Master.

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3 thoughts on “Overwhelmed?

  1. Love this story, Heather. And I love the message. It is definitely one I need to hear right now. I often find myself helping others “for the sake of the Kingdom.” But this has reminded me that sometimes that often leaves me not doing the work I was actually called to do, to the best of my ability. Thanks – great writing.

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  2. Thanks, Heather. I love this story and the message. 🙂 I remember a gal I met in a Bible study. Her mom was always so involved in serve projects/church activities. Because of this, she felt somewhat neglected as a child. When our families only get our “spare minutes,” we need to start rethinking where our responsibilities lie, or as you said, what jobs God gave us to do.

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  3. Thank you for this timeless wisdom! You are so right- seeking to attack my day with a joyful heart doing my tasks unto God… taking things off my to-do list if they aren’t from Him! Thank you for your rockin’ writing ministry!

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