1. Is being overwhelmed being out of order?
  2. Have you gotten over it?
  3. Can you say “no”?
  4. Can you be cared for?

There’s an old joke about the minister delivering his Sunday sermon, and at the height of a particularly bold point one of the congregants mutters “Now you’ve gone from preachin’ to meddlin’.”

Permit me to meddle.

Each of the above questions is meant to provoke not only your thoughts, but some specific action. Each one has come about from the Biblical office of “pastor,” one who cares for and leads the flock of God, during this time on earth before Jesus comes again. I think the answers you give will be not only revealing, but potentially helpful if you’re interested in the transformation Jesus offers.

But, you may ask, why these questions, and why at this time? After all, it’s almost Thanksgiving!

Yes, when we’re overwhelmed, we’re out of order. Meaning, we don’t function as we should. I don’t believe God wants us overwhelmed. I believe He wants us walking in His Spirit, with joy, peace, and happiness. Not realistic, is it? Or is it? If you’re overwhelmed, consider why, and then consider what it would take to get back to joy, peace, and happiness?

It seems to me that in this American life of absolute wonder and abundance, there is way too much bitterness. We who have so much seem too angry, at too many, especially within the Church! Has someone offended you? Get over it. Your bitter attitude isn’t making it better, is it? Your anger isn’t resolving the issue in a favorable way, is it? We need to do a lot more than read about forgiveness, we need to practice it.

Point 3 may be the answer to point 1. Well, can you? It’s a wonderful word, and it yields a lot of peace. Saying “no” creates time, out of nothing, and prevents so many misunderstandings, judgments, hostilities, etc. Try it.

We’re supposed to care for one another; we want to care for one another; we are gifted to care for one another. Yet there seems to be something in the way. I don’t think the Church of Jesus Christ lacks care GIVERS as much as care RECEIVERS. It requires humility to receive, which may be the greatest obstacle we face, and it also requires submission, a bad word in our “modern” vocabulary. Perhaps the biggest obstacle, however, is that we want to be cared for “our way,” rather than how Jesus offers.