there are certain problems in life that i believe we should just give to God. addictions, health concerns, or the actions of other people, these things leave us powerless and all we can do is put them in God’s hands. then there are other things that we can ask God for strength in, but ultimately and practically, we just need to take care of these ourselves.
i often find myself stressed and overwhelmed by life. on the surface it seemed like the classic sort of thing to give to God. “God, i trust you completely! take this burden away!” but the burden remained. my plate would get full and i would need to reschedule things, let people down; and i only had myself to blame. why couldn’t i stay on top of all my obligations in life like a normal person?
my psychologist challenged me to look deeper into the actual causes of the stress. were there patterns taking place that eventually sent me on the path of self-doubt? perhaps. were there false beliefs i was holding onto? maybe. i took stock of my life and created a list of all the things i would want to accomplish in a day. eat, pray, love, sleep, work, create, etc…everything i wanted to do in any given day that would allow me to feel that my day was full and productive. that i’d done a good job. after i’d finished the list, i assigned every item a relatively conservative time estimate and added up the hours. i was delighted to discover that a perfect single day for me was at least 28 hours long. no wonder i was stressed! the minimum ideal standard i had set up for myself was physically impossible.
i can try to give that problem to God and i truly believe that if God wants to, God can squeeze 28 hours into a 24 hour period, but why should i expect God to bend to my unreasonable expectations? so i reworked the list and the hours estimate to find a 24 hour balance and now i use the list every day. i could potentially use this new list as a measuring stick to prove or disprove my worth. instead, i use the list to plan the next day, so that my plans are balanced and i can know that they align with what i believe is the way i want to spend my days.
as far as actually having the will power to accomplish the list each day, well, i’m giving that to God.