I was completely overwhelmed today.
And so like every other important moment in my life, I am carrying it here the way a child shovels sand into a big red pail and carries it down the beach. I am dumping it onto this page, and if we’re lucky maybe I will pull something worthwhile out of this gritty mess with my pen.
So I’ll tell you. My hands were shaking as I stared at my syllabi. By seven p.m. my feet were aching as I trecked across the skybridge to the parking space at the very end of the lot that was all I could find at nine this morning. My brain was spongy and unthinking after absorbing four lectures and one on-line introduction. And my thoughts were slung low with the weight of of words like: “Can I do this?” “Am I up for the challenge of this semester?” and “Do I really care that much (at all) about Medieval Literature?”
Were you there with me today? Did you feel like your boat was sinking? I don’t just mean fellow college goers, I mean you. Any of you. If you’re a teacher, did the kids misbehave one time too many today? If you’re a doctor, did you have to give bad news away to someone who never wanted it in the first place? If you’re a secretary, did your boss use sharp words too much today? If you’re a mother, did the bottles and diapers and the squabbles bog you down today? If you’re a husband did the sun feel extra hot on your working back today?
Whoever you are, wherever you are, whatever struggle you faced today in the span of a few hours that didn’t feel big enough to hold it, take a minute. Or two. Take a deep breath. Or even a few. And all together now, let’s whisper to ourselves “We can do this.” Even if you don’t believe it right now. Even if your heart is not a bit in it. Even if not a single particle of you means it right now, whisper it to yourself anyway. And if it feels okay on the tip on the tip of your tongue, say it a little louder. Tell me how it sounds then. Because let me tell you, I believe you can.
And I don’t know if you believe in a God with an intricate, interesting plan, but I do. I believe that so deeply that on days like today when I have no clue what I’m doing, I can only look up into the sky where my mind images God looking on little ol’ me with love and say “I don’t know who I am or what I’m doing today. But You do. You know what You’re doing, and I know You put me here for a reason. On this campus in these classes in these very shoes. For a purpose.” And you know what? I believe He has a purpose for you too. Right exactly where you are right now. Even if you don’t know all His magic and method and mercy yet, you are a part of His plan exactly in that very place you are, in those very shoes.
Let’s remember it right now. And if you feel overwhelmed again tomorrow, then feel it. But remember at the end of the day, you are slipping out of the very shoes that the Master Plan Maker (who could never fit into a time slot in our planners) made just exactly to fit only you.
So together, let’s get up.
And let’s walk in them.
-Jessi Sanders 2012