"Do now, do now, what you will wish to have done when your moment comes to die." [St. Angela Merici]

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

On the Way to Overwhelm

By Micky Wolf

 It was building. The list was growing longer.

“Go ahead, just add one more thing to the pile,” I muttered, fully aware—yes, even hoping—the Divine was hearing every single word. And noticing every bit of body language.

The past couple of weeks had been filled with one (unforeseen) event and circumstance after another. I’ve been on this spiritual journey long enough to fully embrace the concept nothing is beyond the knowing of our kind and compassionate God, nonetheless, I was growing more anxious by the hour.

A broken tooth. The discovery of a hand condition that will require surgery.

Learning a close family member has yet another large expense to add to the already perilously stretched demands of trying to live on a fixed income. Hearing the news a special friend is facing weeks of chemo and radiation treatments, all in order to prepare for a very serious and detailed operation. I’ll stop there. You get the idea.

“Surely I have really nothing to mutter about,” I continued. Muttering, of course.

“Doesn’t matter. You’re overwhelmed”. The Spirit within has a way of getting my attention—once I take a breath between mutters, that is.

“Well, that’s good to know. I mean, I am aware of people who are in life and death situations. My stuff is pure minutia, by comparison.”

“That’s part of your problem too.” Bam. Sometimes it’s pretty obvious, even to me, that the Divine is in no mood to mince words.

“Stop it. You’re not helping,” I replied, trying to keep my tone cordial.

“Listen. I mean, really listen for a minute.”

Uh-oh. No, I didn’t mutter that out loud—not that it would have made any difference to the Omniscient One.

“I’d like to make a couple of things clear.”

“You have my attention.” No point in stirring up something else to deal with.

“Number one, you aren’t being tested. Number two, other people make choices, the consequences of which can impact you in a painful way. Number three, your own desires—even if they’re my will for you—can get tangled up with the aforementioned. Messy for sure.”

“So?” Need to be careful, a mutter was on the verge of return. “I’m sorry. Forgive me. I appreciate that you see every detail of my life. I could just really use some wisdom at this point. You know. How to get through this period of time and be a decent human being, especially toward my beloved.”

“Understand. See that sign in front of you?”

 “Yes.” I had approached the three-way intersection near my street.

“You have three options.” Go figure. No surprise here.


“You can Stop in your tracks, sit on your softer parts and give up. Or, you can take a few moments, sit with me, and we’ll prioritize what needs your attention. Or, you can turn in the other direction and continue stewing over everything until your so confused you don’t know up from down.”

“You can be very practical when you want to be,” I said, turning right.


“But I thought you said I was overwhelmed.”

“I did. Give yourself a break. Believe me, there are days I can relate.”

“I’ll bet there have been a lot of those recently,” I said, not in a mutter. Definitely with a sigh.

“For sure. Oh, one more thing.”

“Yes?” Seems the Divine can have an after-thought too. That’s comforting.

“Remember, Overwhelm need not be a destination. It’s an attitude and state of being we can work together to pass through. Got it?”

Got it.

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