Lately I’ve felt a little overwhelmed–like I’ve been stuck in a nightmare, running with all my strength while knee deep in mud. Springtime is just busy, especially if you’ve got kids… And I do… Eight of them… If I’m not at a baseball game, then I’m probably in the car shuttling someone to symphony practice or piano lessons. And we seldom start homework before I’d like to be heading to bed. With so much on the schedule, the housework gets … well let’s just say, neglected.
As I stared at a towering heap of laundry this morning, a sense of hopelessness came over me. “Will I ever get a handle on all of the responsibilities that are mine?,” I thought. “Will I ever get it together so I can be the wife, the mother, the friend I want to be?”
I wonder how many of us have had a similar feeling at one time or another? I think most people have a desire to do good and to be good. But, in my experience, our potential for good can be elusive. We often find ourselves feeling overwhelmed by the number of tasks on our To Do list which far outweigh our available time. The emotional demands on us, likewise, outweigh our emotional energy. And our money and resources are often stretched beyond comfortable limits. With all of these heavy burdens, we begin to wonder if we can even survive, let alone make a positive difference in the world.
One thing I have learned in recent years is that we are liberated to make a positive difference, to truly serve and love others, only when we allow the Savior to help us carry our own heavy burdens.
The Savior is eager to help carry our burdens. But we must choose to let him.
I can visualize myself in a yoke with the Savior beside me, a heavy cart behind us. Because I believe in Christ and have faith in him, I know that HE can do all things. No matter how heavy that cart becomes, together we can pull it.
Have you ever tried to list all of the things that are causing you stress? Your physical, emotional and spiritual burdens? It sounds like the opposite of counting your blessings, but it is nonetheless a worthwhile exercise. As I make this list, I see many of the things weighing me down are truly out of my control. They hinge upon events of the past, choices of other people and worries about the future. Concerns over what others might think of me also sneak into my cart of burdens. While these things affect me deeply, I have limited influence over them. If I am meek, Christ will carry these burdens for me. I show meekness by trusting the Savior’s plan and his timing, by allowing others to make mistakes as they learn and grow, by letting go of what others think of me, by accepting things I cannot change.
As the Savior lifts burdens that are not mine to carry, I can spend my time and emotional energy on things over which I have direct influence.
I certainly will be capable of more good when I focus my efforts on my own sphere of influence. But sometimes, I am still unable to perform at the level of my expectations. Housework during baseball season is an example of this. I’ll probably scarcely keep my head above the piles of laundry until the schedule relaxes. But that’s okay. The most important things will fall into place as I yoke myself with Christ. You may have heard the statement “let go and let God.” Well I believe this has widespread application–even to heaps of laundry.
Jesus gave this advice:
I don’t think he meant that we shouldn’t have long-term dreams and goals, but rather that we need to slow down and take life as it comes. Living in the moments. Serving in snippets. Enjoying each day.
It gives me hope to know that I don’t have to solve the world’s problems or even check everything off my To Do list. All I have to is my very best. ONE DAY AT A TIME.