The Overload Syndrome: Learning to Live Within Your Limits
By Richard A. Swenson, Richard A. Swenson M.D.
I found a good reminder today in a book called The Overload Syndrome. It’s a book that asks readers first to recognize they have limits then encourages them to live inside those limits, despite all they could be doing, in order to remain healthy and (even) best available to God.
“God does not have to depend on human exhaustion to get His work done. God is not so desperate for resources to accomplish His purposes that we have to abandon the raising of our children in order to accommodate Him. God is not so despairing of where to turn next that He has to ask us to go without sleep for five nights in a row. Chronic overloading is not a prerequisite for authentic Christianity. Quite the contrary, overloading is often what we do when we forget who God is.
“Someone has said, ‘God can do in twenty minutes what it takes us twenty years to do.’ Let’s trust more and do less. Is it busyness that moves mountains…or faith?” (pp. 36, 72).
I have a remarkably empty calendar right now. Perhaps the emptiest it’s been since I could set my own schedule: all I have in stone is church/Sunday school on Sunday and ToastMasters for an hour on Mondays.
And I have rarely felt this tired. Granted, that has everything to do with being pregnant, sick, and corralling a house with 2 toddlers.
But, the best thing about being tired (and I like this) is that it makes me ruthlessly evaluate every new (or old) opportunity that comes my way.
It makes me look at what need is being met in this activity– either by me or for me– and if it’s not important (enough), it is very easy to let it go. This awareness also makes it relatively easy to occasionally pick-up new things w/o feeling guilty. The cost/benefits ratio is the easiest to see it’s been in years.