Letting Your Weight Down Through A Tangle Of Seaweed

By Keith Miller | July 13, 2009

Keith, I am so over-committed that I wake up often on the verge of panic. The problem is that I’m a minister and can’t even find the time to pray anymore. It seems like I’m swimming like crazy but the shore is getting farther away. Have you ever had this experience? If so what did you do to get back on solid ground?

Oh yea, periodically as a new Christian, I wanted to help people and to be a part of everything Christians were learning or doing that appeared to be God’s will. But before long I had made more commitments than my calendar could possibly hold. I cut down on sleep, exercise, and play time with my family. But things got more and more chaotic, until one night I woke up in a nameless panic, staring with saucer eyes into the predawn blackness. I began thrashing around in my mind for solutions that didn’t involve failing or being shamed by having to admit I couldn’t fulfill all my commitments. Thoroughly revved up, I jumped up to another frantic day of jockeying appointments, meeting deadlines, and short-changing my family—promising that I was almost caught up. But something told me that wasn’t true, and in addition my frantic life was far from Jesus’ “peace that passes understanding,” but though I felt guilty giving up projects that seemed so “Christian”, I felt like I was about to drown—and the shore was getting further and further away.

My stomach was in a knot, my chest tight, my mind a buzzing bee hive that had been upset. As I tossed up a “please help me” prayer and lay down on the floor to do a few token sit-ups, a bizarre memory flashed on my inner screen—an old newspaper story: Before dawn on a cold December morning, three duck hunters in waist-high rubber waders—were thrown into the icy black water of an unfamiliar lake when their small flat-bottomed boat capsized. Thrashing around in the dark trying to swim ashore, all three drowned. The article said the accident was particularly tragic since the water where the boat capsized was less than five feet deep—but the men didn’t know. Had they not panicked, but simply put their feet down, they could have waded out.

*

I shook my head, smiling at my own blindness. I’d been struggling so frantically to take over Jesus’ job and save the world that I’d almost gone under, when all I had to do was stop, be still, and let my full weight down on God.

So I did—right then. And when I did that, I saw clearly that I am not God and I made some calls and cancelled some things. I’d been participating in and out of a need to be more than I am.

“Be still and know that I am God.” (Psalm 46:10 RSV)

Lord: Thank you that even when we’re in our worst messes you’re love is always close enough to stand on—if we will just quit thrashing, remember that You are God, and let our feet down!

Topics: Christian Living, Weekly Devotional | Comments Off on Letting Your Weight Down Through A Tangle Of Seaweed
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