I’ve been fooled into thinking I can “do it all.” In fact, there’s an old adage that says “You can do anything,” and in a mile a minute world, we almost believe that if we don’t do it all, we are inadequate. We’re not good enough. I’ve felt this a million times myself, and it wasn’t until recently that I realized my limitations are not weaknesses. They’re just realities.
For the past few months I’ve been dealing with an office move. Throughout the entire process, people asked me “Aren’t you excited about the move and your new office?”
Their question was often met with a grumble and a mumbled, “I’ll be excited when we get in there.”
The long process, like other moves, wasn’t without bumps in the road – packing boxes, painting, rewiring electric, setting up internet and phone lines, unpacking boxes of things I still needed before the move, having new carpet installed, and of course, the big moving day itself. It was a Thursday, and I started it with a great session with my spiritual director. On the way to the new office, I stopped for a coffee, so I was feeling pretty good. I was ready to attack the day, and I was actually starting to feel excited.
Things were going fine until we realized that some of my coworkers’ desks couldn’t fit up the stairs to their offices. There was frustration, anger, upset phone calls to the moving company and suggested solutions swirling around the room. My blood pressure started to rise, and I started to feel the peace and calmness leave my body. Then it happened. Someone suggested taking the desks apart, and all of a sudden one of my coworkers walked in with a drill ready to start the disassembly. I wanted to laugh…hard. But I kept it in, and I realized something: There was nothing I could do. If the solution was to disassemble the desks, I knew I could not be a part of it. I guarantee if I tried to do any kind of disassmbly, there would be extra screws or missing boards when we tried to put it back together. I made the only decision I could: I realized there was nothing I could do, and I excused myself from the room.
In that moment, the peace returned. Two things happened:
1. I realized that there was nothing I could do about trying to move a desk up the stairs. At the same time, I recognized that just because I couldn’t do something in that moment, it didn’t make me less of a team player or less of a person.
2. I decided to leave the moving of furniture up to the professionals. Even if there was nothing I could do, there was something they COULD do, and I needed to get out of their way.
Somewhere along the line, I realized that this is true in my own life. Sometimes there’s nothing I can do about a situation in my life. And I have to leave it up to the professionals. Just because I don’t have an opportunity to use my strengths and talents doesn’t mean that it’s not an opportunity for someone else to use theirs. I realized, too, that there is so much peace in placing a lot of those worries and stresses into the hands who is pretty much a pro at everything. When life gets rough or when I feel like I can’t fight for or against something any longer, I’ve found peace at the foot of the Cross where Jesus handled everything. Throughout my life there have been a lot of things that I just couldn’t handle it, and my peace returns when I realize that God the Father can handle everything. And I have to trust that he will.