24/7 - It Never Ends

Intro

First it’s school, then homework, then soccer, then youth group after that and then chores when I get home when I really just want to play some Assassin’s Creed. Then the next day I have that presentation I need to finish. Did Kyle ever give me that book back? Shoot! I left my calculator at his house! Do I have a math quiz tomorrow? I gotta text him. Then there’s that big stack of college applications with a smaller stack of job applications beside it that mom keeps scooting closer and closer to my desk. Ugh, and I never called Tanya back. I hope she’s not still mad. Oh my gosh; this never ends!!!

Sound familiar? Life can sometimes overwhelm us just because all of those little things keep piling up. How do we cope with it all? When things feel like they will never end it’s easy to feel powerless and lost. Let’s take a look at what God suggests we do when things get overwhelming.

Story

Time. That annoying thing that never seems to act how we want it to. Either it whizzes by way too fast or crawls by at an agonizing pace. Though most of the time we just grin and bear it. Sometimes, though, all those things that pile up that you never have time to get to can become a real problem.

There’s always going to be things you need or want to do. That’s basically what life is. So how do you handle everything without getting overwhelmed? How can you possibly get done all of the things in life?

You probably remember the rabbit from Alice and Wonderland who ran around with a ginormous clock yelling, “I’m late!” all the time? The poor guys seems to pop up everywhere just to scurry off again trying over and over again to get to his very important date. Really, he is in such a panic and always so furtively pursuing his goal that it often seems like he’s running around like a chicken with its head cut off!

That’s exactly how your life can feel if you’re not careful. What we find when we look at Scripture is how important it is that we make a plan for how to handle everything life can throw at us and be committed to that plan. That’s a big way to avoid running around in a panic but never really getting anywhere. If that little rabbit would just calm down for a moment, take a breath, and figure out the most efficient way to complete his task, he would have been successful sooner and experienced much less stress in the process.

The other thing the Bible makes clear is that we are to work hard with dedication and joy. It’s important that we follow through on the work God gives us to do – even if that work is just our chores at home. God intends for us to be victorious over this world, and that includes handling an overwhelmingly long To Do List.

So the next time things in life are becoming overwhelming. Take a Breath. Talk to God. Make a Plan. And Do the Work.

Bible intro

Here we see Jesus talking about what it takes to be a follower of Christ. It’s not easy but it’s worth it. Notice how he emphasizes the importance of knowing your strengths and weaknesses, making a plan, and putting in the work to do it. More than that, he gives some insight into what our state of mind should be through it all. See what you can figure out from what he says. The title of the section is called The Cost of Being a Disciple. We might also ask ourselves what it costs NOT to be a disciple.

Personal Questions
1. Right now in life, how well do you think you do with making a plan and doing the work? Is it something you need to improve?
2. Why do you think that Jesus took a left turn in the last verse of Luke 14? What does that tell us about what our state of mind should be when making a plan and doing the work?
3. Why do you think it’s important to have humility as we work to carry our cross and follow Christ? What does it change?
4. What are some of the promises God makes to you as you face situations you don’t know how to handle? How do they make you feel?
Prayer

Father God, I can’t believe this is really how my life is. Everything is always crazy and when I fix one thing, something else pops up. It feels like it never ends and it is just getting so overwhelming! Help me, Jesus. Show me how to just get through a regular day without feeling exhausted or like I might scream until my head explodes! I know that you are there for me and that Scripture says I can find strength in you. Well this is me asking, God. Please give me your strength. Give me wisdom and peace and the ability to handle whatever life throws at me. Please God. In Your Name, Amen.

Challenge

Read Hebrews 11. The whole thing. Let it sink in. If you don’t know the stories they reference, go look them up. Then spend some time talking with God about what he intends for your life. Talk with him about what faith means and how having servitude to Christ as motivation in life makes all the difference. Be ready to hear what he has to say!

Quizical

Check out this quiz to see how you handle stress! Always remember to keep God a part of your overwhelming life.

http://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/bhcv2/bhcarticles.nsf/pages/quiz_how_well_do_you_manage_stress?open

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Scripture

Philippians 4:13 - A good verse to keep in mind when things start to overwhelm you!

Luke 12:22-31 - While a plan and hard work are important, never let fear overwhelm you and paralyze you. God loves and cares for you. Just keep striving forward with dedication and joy and he will provide.

Colossians 1:17 - Jesus is ready to help you figure out this overwhelming situation!

James 1:5 - God promises to give you wisdom if you will just ask for it!

Video

Check out this spoken word video Time by Kurt Schroder.

Life Questions
1. Each day this week make lists. Lists for things you need to do for school, movies to watch, people to catch up with, places you want to visit, jobs you want to apply for, and on and on. Try different ways of making lists- color coding, subcategories, time-limits for tasks, etc. Use lists to help you organize your day. Use a list to track if you’re drinking enough water. Just commit to making lists and using them to accomplish tasks. Be open to the idea and pay attention to the changes it makes in your life. Do you feel more clear-headed? Are things simpler to tackle? What things do you like about lists and what things don’t you like? Does anything surprise you? Give it a good solid week and really try to utilize this tool. Maybe you’ll discover something you love, or just a tactic that works. Even if you never become “a list person,” it’s still important to understand their effect and know how to utilize them when you are overwhelmed.
2. Choose a Bible passage from the Scripture sections. Memorize it this week. Put it by your bed, fridge, locker, or somewhere you will see it multiple times a day.
3. Talk to a trusted adult (parent, chaplain, youth leader, counselor) about a particular area of your life you feel might be too much for you to handle. Ask them for advice and to pray with you for God’s wisdom.
Reflect

Maybe the idea of making a plan and doing the work wasn’t really what you were looking for. You wanted a magical formula or a get out of jail free card. Read through this Scripture and consider what God might be trying to tell you. Take some time to reflect and write down specifically what keeps you from committing to a plan and putting in the work. Are you afraid, lazy, worn-out, rebellious, angry, confused? Be honest and open with God. It’s only by acknowledging where you are at that you can begin to move forward to somewhere new.

Lazy people should learn a lesson from the way ants live. They have no leader, chief, or ruler, but they store up their food during the summer, getting ready for winter. How long is the lazy man going to lie around? When is he ever going to get up? “I'll just take a short nap,” he says; “I'll fold my hands and rest a while.” But while he sleeps, poverty will attack him like an armed robber.

Proverbs 6:6-11

Lol

You can probably relate to this scene from Finding Nemo when it comes to dealing with a demanding schedule.