I bring it on myself, of course. Maybe normal people know when to stop piling stuff on. But I tend to start juggling a couple of plates and I think, “Hey, I can handle this!” I think, “Sure, I can spin one more plate up there!” so I add one more, then another and then another. And it goes great. Until God places a proverbial chicken leg on one of the proverbial plates and the next thing I know I’m off balance, dancing around with a lot of breakables flying through the air and a preschooler glued to each foot.
I used to respond to those situations by saying “God will never give me more than I can handle” and either a) going without sleep and gutting it out to take care of everything because after all it’s my fault for taking on too much in the first place, or (more usually) b) dropping everything and beating myself up.
Then I read this insightful article on Femina about the truth that God is actually in the business of giving us more than we can handle. It is, in fact, the very point. As long as I can handle everything, I don’t have much impetus to seek God or rely on Him, do I? The addition of the thing I know I can’t handle should NOT lead me to guilty resignation or self-flagellation. Rather, it should remind me to acknowledge the truth that was there all along: the only reason any of my plates are ever in the air is God.
Perhaps as I mature I will learn to rely on God moment by moment whether or not the odd chicken leg is tossed into the mix. Meanwhile, instead of being annoyed at chicken legs such as only having a week to study for a standardized test (I won’t bore you with the details, but, suffice it to say, I’m stressed), I’ll be grateful for the reminder that the only way I could get a good score on the test anyway is with God’s help.
And instead of writing more blog posts, I’ll get back to trying to remember the quadratic formula and what the point of prime factorization is anyway. 🙂