You might be surprised by the things that overwhelm me.
I am not overwhelmed by having to minister to the dying or the bereaved; or by preaching without notes.
But I am overwhelmed by walking into the untidiness of my children’s bedrooms. My dyspraxic mind just does not know where to begin. Where, in other circumstances, the wiring of my brain results in creativity, or in making connections that others don’t make but find helpful when I take them along with me, here my wiring is overloaded searching for the connections that will help me re-establish order out of chaos. I am defeated, by what to someone else may seem a trivial thing.
We live in a society that increasingly demands omni-competence of us. A society in which professionalism has been taken too far, where what once guaranteed a certain acceptable and comparable standard now places an impossible burden on people. Not only do we need to make a certain number of bricks each day, the necessary raw materials are no longer provided.
We are not omni-competent, nor are we intended to be so. We are intended to be inter-dependent. We are intended to find a role in which we flourish, but that hope has been compromised, for now. And so, not every person will flourish. For some, the odds are too greatly stacked against them. The expectation of omni-competence only adds to those odds. It amounts to violence against the self, against our neighbour.
You might be surprised by the things that overwhelm me. I might be surprised by the things that overwhelm you. The fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22, 23) includes gentleness. We need to grow in gentleness towards ourselves, and towards each other.