Pastor’s Corner: Overwhelmed

Photo of Pastor Eric in a hiker's hat, smiling but clearly very tired.

September 4, 2019

Have you ever felt overwhelmed? I have.

I wish I were better at handling it. Fortunately, I cope better than I used to (given some of my catastrophic failures to adapt, that may not be saying much).

There are a few things I know:

First, it doesn’t do a lot of good to ignore or deny it. Stress is real. Things happen around us that we do not control. Our quickening heart rate, tensing muscles, and shallowing breathing tell a true story of our condition. Things might get better for us by themselves, but they probably will not.

Second, we can’t fix everything. It’s not all in my head; it’s not all subject to my will. I can’t control the actions of other people. There are natural forces (remember lava and floods a year ago?) beyond our powers.

Third, when we’re overwhelmed, there’s probably something that we can control, or at least affect. There is probably something we can change to reduce at least one of the stressors. There is something we can do to reduce its effect on us. There is something we can do to relieve the tension and begin the healing.

That will probably leave one or more bigger, more powerful things we’ll still need to confront.

But if we’ve given ourselves even a little bit of breathing room, we’ll have more mind, spirit, and energy to bring to them.

If you’re overwhelmed: Mend something. Learn something. Share something. Pray something. Release something. Sing something. Jump over something. Play with something. Meditate over something. Do something.

Give yourself some breathing room.

With aloha,

Pastor Eric

The photo of Pastor Eric is a self-portrait taken while catching his breath climbing the Halema’uma’u Trail.

Categories Pastor's Corner Reflections | Tags: | Posted on September 4, 2019

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