Wednesday, April 13, 2016

be overwhelmed

Lots of words get a bad wrap, even when they hold two sides.  When the two parts of their definitions completely contradict one another, the 'good' one of the two gets lost somewhere in translation.  I've shared before about some of these words that can often get misinterpreted and can even dangerously effect your heart when you don't comprehend their true meaning and instead allow the negative assumption to take over the positive effect they should have.

Overwhelmed, in my opinion is one such word.  Just a brief glance at all of the self help and spiritual development books being published recently, and the ones I own and are stacked neatly on my to-read pile, will confirm that it is in fact an all too common feeling.  I would have added nowadays, but even in the midst of our technological strides and inventions that were invented to give us more ways to connect and more things to do, we did not create the act of busyness, the act of distraction, or the emotions that come when one thing after another happens whether they are of the difficult category or the day to day one.

Immediately upon hearing this three syllable term I can't help but hear defeated, engulfed, inundated, or drowned whispered instead.  Failing before beginning.  Wanting to hide instead of face.  Bracing yourself until it's all over without a desire to stand up and meet whatever is coming head on.  No wonder the word chosen for me to concentrate on this year was Wait.  In the waiting, the waves of get-things-done that eventually engulfs you, instead fades into a slower wake.

Its no wonder that we've turned 'overwhelmed' into something to be avoided or, even worse, something to be worn with honor as if you've battled a dangerous beast and won--busyness overwhelms and we dream-seeking Americans have a tendency to pile on as much as possible to prove something to ourselves and others but that is a thought for another day.

There are better ways to be overwhelmed.

There's beauty in the world that overpowers your senses.  The kind that makes you silent.  The kind that makes you sit in awe of a Creator who put places on the Earth to just look at, to view and see how small you are yet understand that even in your smallness you are loved completely and have been set apart.  Standing at the bottom of a canyon with huge walls of rock shooting up to meet a sky full of gray clouds was awe inspiring indeed but sitting and staring out the window at the Spring trees blooming below an immense blue sky in a simple neighborhood yard is beauty as well and all were placed by the same God for the same reason.  To look and know.

People like that are around as well.  Quite often they astonish and bewilder, these people who in their actions, words, or countenance just proclaim His glory.  They overwhelm you with their presence, a presence that sometimes is so small one might barely notice their gentle touch, or smile, or movement and yet it becomes burned in your memory banks as a moment that changed you if just a bit.   In this is the elderly man who lovingly grabs his wife's hand to guide her down a mountain path, the check out girl who smiled and chatted as if you were her favorite customer, or the child who toddles out of a run down shack just to laugh and chase bubbles in the middle of a Romanian field.

Events will happen too.  Monumental ones that become beacons in your life, those situations that blow you away so much so that you can come back to them and remember not just the circumstances that happened but the stark contrast of who you were before and how much better you are after.  I am in the process of going back and remembering and writing down those beacons in my life and can't wait to share them with you one day and can't wait even more for the new ones that will come and either be added to the list or replace ones because their effect is so much greater.

But even with all these wonderfully overwhelming things, they can not hold a candle to or even be appreciated without being completely and fully inundated with the overwhelming presence of a Holy Father and the Savior He gave and the Spirit He left behind.

This is anything but a recipe for a life of ease and happiness.  Of course hard things will happen.  We're never promised easy, but we are promised that we're never alone and in any situation, that will enable us to let go of the control we don't really have but like to cling tightly to regardless.

 A different outlook is just that, a different outlook.  A new vantage point through a lens that abides in Christ instead of our own sinful vision.  That is my prayer today.  That instead of letting things overwhelm and drown us out that we submit to letting God overwhelm and lift us out.  I pray that we can be overwhelmed.

Heavenly Father,
Overwhelm us with Yourself.
Overwhelm us and let us not be overwhelmed in the way the world so often defines.
Overwhelm our minds with your wisdom and knowledge given through Christ and the peace that passes all understanding.
Overwhelm our hearts with love that comes only from knowing how much we're loved and joy that flows through thankfulness of all we have been given through your grace and mercy.  We deserve nothing yet you have given us everything through your Son.
Overwhelm our actions with kindness, goodness, gentleness and self control so that you shine through, so that you are more and we are less.
Overwhelm our thoughts with Hope, with the promises you have given and are impossible to break.
Overwhelm our words with encouragement and love even when they are ones, especially when they are ones, that are difficult to say and more difficult to hear.
Overwhelm us with You so that the world underwhelms in comparison, then we can see You more clearly and love You more dearly and be drawn to you instead.

Pray for me, I'll be praying for you.

No comments:

Post a Comment