One thing I like about using twitter is that when the site is overloaded, instead of running slowly or just freezing up, a friendly page appears with a picture of a whale on it and a note telling you that the site is currently “Over Capacity.”
Wouldn’t it be nice if life worked that way? On those days when you’re feeling overloaded or burned out, a whale would appear in front of your office to let your boss and coworkers know that they need to back off and give you some space!
Unfortunately, no such whale really exists to let those around us know we’re overwhelmed. In fact, often we can’t even tell when we’re over capacity because the frantic pace of life has come to seem so normal for us. If we run at breakneck speed for too long, we run the serious risk of harming ourselves physically, emotionally, relationally, mentally and spiritually.
Here are some warning signs that you need to ease up and hang a whale sign out in front of your home or office:
1. Anger over Interruptions. When your schedule is too full, there is no margin, so there’s not room for any interruptions. When you’re Over Capacity, any unexpected interruptions can push you over the edge. You might even find yourself resenting people who seem like they do have time for interruptions because you have believed the lie that important people are always super busy.
2. Lack of Laughter. When there’s balance in your life there should be plenty of room for laughter. If you’re pushed past your limits, laughter is one of the first casualties. It starts a vicious cycle of somberness.
3. Lack of Creativity. Without room to imagine and dream, you’ll find yourself running at full speed just to complete the tasks in front of you. When an opportunity for creativity arises, you will find it more of a struggle than a joy.
4. Relational Drift. When your mind is always consumed with your tasks, your loved ones will always suffer. Even when you’re with them, your mind will be distant and your cell phone will probably be on.
So what do you do?
If you find yourself nodding in agreement with these signs of being overwhelmed, then you need to proactively start removing things from your schedule. I believe God won’t give us more than we can handle, but we will often take on ourselves more than we can handle!
Have the confidence to say “NO” more often so that you can “YES” to the people and priorities that matter most. Set specific boundaries for what hours you will have your phone on and what hours are completely off limits.
Don’t apologize for for letting people down. The world already has a Savior so and you’re not Him. Let Him be the one to give you rest and peace…
“Then Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest.” Matthew 11:28