Is it Possible to be Overly Responsible?

I started crying this morning. A Fitbit brought me to tears. It quit working. I had noticed it last night but forgot to plug it in. When I glanced at it this morning, checking my steps while on the treadmill, the screen was black.

But that is not why I started crying. Tears erupted when I set the Fitbit down and couldn’t find it while trying to gather up a load of laundry for the washer. Frequently, I misplace things by trying to complete more than one task at a time. But there is always too much to do.

Now I am in the process of seeking counseling to determine the real cause of my meltdown.

The Holy Spirit is our counselor. I know it is currently popular to seek outside counsel and there is a place for this. But the Holy Spirit will uncover all that is embedded in our hearts. All that knocks us off course, keeps us from becoming the person God created us to be.

And so, as I chase honesty in the inward parts I find , as a responsible person, I am practicing gluttony in this area of responsibility, filling my plate too full.

It is the last week in July and the yard still needs work. The sails haven’t been hung over the deck and weeds still dominate the garden. Also, outdoor furniture, kept under tarps during the winter snowstorms, needs to be refreshed. Currently, I am stripping and sanding a pair of Adirondack chairs. A gallon of teal paint has been purchased for this project. Also, a can of Canyon Black spray paint for a metal café table and chairs and a can of Satin Terracotta for plastic chairs that have faded.

There are so many people on my list to invite to an outdoor dinner on the deck. Over the years I have purchased folded tables and chairs from Costco that store neatly in the garage. Also, table cloths and trays to carry coffee cups with creamer, or condiments, from the kitchen as well as other items to create a hospitable setting like those depicted in Magnolia Magazine.

If all I had on my plate were maintenance projects, I could complete them. But days are filled with tasks of daily living, creative writing, ministry, and interactions with family and friends as well.

Yet just as something small, not easily noticed can tip scales creating an imbalance, the behaviors we practice yet have not recognized can create havoc. The Holy Spirit can surprise us with these “not so obvious” stressors.

Recently, He brought to my attention a skewed attitude toward responsibility. It seems I feel responsible for the viability of magazines, writing websites, or nonprofits. Often when I hold a renewal to a publication in my hands my thought isn’t so much about their benefit, but what will happen if I don’t subscribe. I don’t want to be responsible for their demise. Often these magazines pile up unread or writing materials on membership websites are never accessed. Instead of being helpful it is another item on a long “to do” list… read magazines, watch teachings, and implement best practice.

A responsibility is “having an obligation to do something.” An obligation is “a duty or commitment.” ( Basically, it is something we must do. It is what prompts the words “I have to.”

We do have obligations. But I see how easy it is to overload. Grab hold of responsibilities that do not even exist. At this point I am a seeker, exploring the realm of responsibility.

I will continue to explore!

©2023 Susan Cort Johnson *All Rights Reserved

Let’s talk:

1-How have you made your life less stressful? Is this the direction of the Holy Spirit? What Scriptures has He provided that points back to Him?

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