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Dear Friends,
I trust you are doing well and looking forward to Sunday.
Do you ever get overwhelmed by all the things you need to get done, and discouraged by all the things you probably won’t? Almost every day, right?
I’ve felt that way a number of times recently. I felt overloaded when I look at my office both here at the church and at home that is in disarray. I felt that way when I look at my email inbox. I feel that way when I look at the stack of books at home and here at the church that I “really need to read!” And the list goes on and on!
You are probably just as busy—not with the same things, perhaps, but busy nonetheless. And the problem will only get worse. Richard Swenson is a medical doctor from Wisconsin that I got to know when I worked with the Christian Medical and Dental Association. In his book The Overload Syndrome he writes:
Progress always gives us more and more of everything faster and faster. There are only so many details that can be comfortably managed in anybody’s life. Once this number has been exceeded, one of two things happens disorganization or frustration. Yet progress gives us more and more details every year—often at exponential rates. We have to deal with more “things per person” than ever before in the history of humankind. Every year we have more products, more information, more technology, more activities, more choices, more change, more traffic, more commitments, more work. In short, more of everything. Faster… Progress automatically leads to increasing overload, meaninglessness, speed, change, stress, and complexity.
The trouble, of course, is that all of this overload gets in the way of our spiritual progress. More than a century ago Phillips Brooks observed, “The more we watch the lives of men, the more we see that one of the reasons why men are not occupied with great thoughts and interest is the way in which their lives are overfilled with little things.” 
What about you? Is your life occupied with great things for God, or is it overfilled with little things? And if it is, what, if anything, are you going to do about it?
So how should we deal with the inescapable overload of life in the twenty-first century? I may not be the most qualified person to speak on this subject, but allow me to make three simple suggestions.
First, whatever else you do, make time for communion with Christ. Remember what Jesus said to Martha, that only “one thing is necessary” (Luke 10:42)—that is, to be with Jesus, listening to what he says, and talking with him about what we need. It is only when we allow God to minister to us through Bible study and prayer that the rest of life makes any sense at all.
Second, embrace the limitations of your finitude. Rather than feeling anxious and distressed about everything you’re not getting done, or always complaining that you need more time, take satisfaction in the many daily reminders that you are not God. You are not all-powerful, all-present, and all-knowing. Only God is. So when the overload confronts you with your limitations, be reminded that you are only a creature who needs to rest in your Savior’s care (see Matt. 6:25–34; 11:28–30).
Third, choose wisely. The hardest choices in life are not the choices between the good things and the bad things. When it comes to discriminating the good from the bad, most Christians find it relatively easy to tell the difference. No, the hard choices are the ones between the good things and the best things. To make these decisions we need the wisdom of the Holy Spirit, who works through Scripture, through circumstances, through counsel, and through our conscience to help us “discern what is best” (Phil. 1:10; NIV).
In order to carry out God’s calling for your life, you will have to learn to say “no.” Many good things in life—many wholesome entertainments, many useful ministry opportunities, and many God-given pleasures—get in the way of God’s calling and therefore must be declined.
What choices will you make this week and in the weeks to come? Will you make the time to be with Christ? Will you embrace the limitations of your finitude, resting in the infinite grace of your God? And will you have the wisdom to make the right choice when you have to say “Yes” to some things and “No” to others? If not, you will end up even more overloaded than God wants you to be.
See you this Sunday in person or online.
In the light of His glory and grace,
Pastor Doug