What does your post-Easter schedule look like? Perhaps you had this week off. Jill Kelly, the writer and editor who leads my writing group, shared this quote from Thomas Merton last night:
To allow oneself to be carried away
by a multitude of conflicting concerns,
to surrender to too many demands,
to commit oneself to too many projects,
to want to help everyone in everything,
is to succumb to the violence of our times.
Merton wrote this decades ago, and these words are more provocative than ever.
5 replies on “How Much Are You Doing? Too Much?“
Vincent, you get right at the challenge many Christians face. Your questions are great ones to ask, on an ongoing basis. Thanks for this.
For me, beyond getting over-committed, the one part which jumped in front of my eyes is:
“to want to help everyone in everything”
It is so easy for me to forget asking myself: what is my responsibility in this situation, with this person? How much of what I do is driven by a desire to please? Is helping this person going to help him/her grow? Do I decide to not intervene in such and such a situation and deal with my own anxiety about not helping?
As Christians this can be a difficult situation to manage (“love your neighbor as yourself”…).
All I can say about Merton’s quote, which I found particularly insightful and powerful is Wow! and Ouch!
A little progress counts a lot! Thanks for this, Jason.
I always take Mon-Tue off. This week I also took two extra days off in order to have a four day getaway to Santa Catalina Island. It was a nice break, although I had a cold the whole time which had set in on Maundy Thursday.
Yesterday it was back to the grindstone with bulletin prep, board agenda prep and today my sermon vigil. Since I will not have this Sunday off, I still will endure all of the usual Sunday performance anxiety.
I find that even when I have Sunday away from church and preaching, that I still get amped up on Saturday night. It’s not until at least two Sundays off sequentially that I start to relax.
Knowing that, I did postpone a three-part history class until may that was supposed to start this week. There’s a little progress.