Eric! My friend, what’s up?
Jesus, I don’t know how I’m gonna get through this week.
Oh really? Why?
Well, you see, it’s Controller Briefing Week this week for the 2022 budget we’re working on in my day job, and there’s about three other projects burning there too. I can’t seem to stay on top of everything.
That doesn’t sound too unmanageable…
Yeah but that’s not all. I’m w-a-a-y behind in my reading for both classes this term, haven’t even looked at the discussion board for World Religions, and I have that paper on Christian responses to the political system due Friday morning in Christian Ethics. And then another one due right behind it, next week, and you know how tough a grader Dr. T. will be. And I’m preaching this coming weekend, and I don’t have much of an outline yet, and I wanted to get that done and off my books so I could focus, but I can’t, and…
You sound really stressed. Why?
Why?!? Because I have all this I have to do!
Why do you have to do it?
Well, because…because if I don’t stay on top of the budget, my bosses will get mad. And if I can’t keep up with the reading I won’t do well in class. And if I don’t spend a lot of time on the paper, the professor will think I’m not paying attention. And if I don’t make a good sermon, people will say “Hm, he’s losing me already, has been here barely a year…”
Hm?!? That’s all you can say? I’m drowning over here!
Eric, did you hear yourself just now?
Of course! I’m swamped and I can’t do this!
Eric, let me ask you, with all the love in my heart: who cares if you don’t do those things?
Jesus, weren’t you listening? My bosses, my professors, my mentor and my parishoners…they’ll all think less of me!
Isn’t there someone you’re forgetting?
I…I don’t think so? Who else expects something from me this week? Lord, who have I forgotten now?
How about me, Eric? Where am I in your week?
Oh, I see what you mean. I’m too busy being busy, I forgot who it is I’m doing all this for. It’s you, Jesus. It isn’t me. It’s not about how I look to people, it’s about how they see you in me this week.
Now you’re beginning to get it.
But the sermon, and the Master’s program, they’re all for you, Jesus! And I have to do all this!
Yes, and did I ever tell you you had to do it all perfectly? Did I ever demand a 4.0 GPA or standing ovations at your sermons?
But? There’s no but. I love you, Eric, but man, sometimes you just don’t get me. I never asked for anything more than your heart. I never asked you for anything more than to follow me. Yes, I’m leading you through this season of graduate school, and yes, there’s work to do there. And yes, I am leading you to learn what it means to be a pastor in my name. But I never expected perfection.
I just feel overwhelmed, Jesus. I can’t do this alone.
No, you can’t. And I never expected you to do it alone. Let me. Let me guide you, let me help you, let me hold you and give you peace. Let me do it with you.
You’re right, Jesus. I’ve been a fool. Forgive me for getting in your way. Forgive me for thinking I have to be something you never asked me to be. Let me rest in you, and let me do this with you, so that your glory truly can be achieved.
Of course I forgive you. It’s what I’m good at.
Thank you, Jesus. Let’s you and I get started on your sermon, then, shall we?