I Took on Too Much
I slammed my fist on the beeping alarm clock and strained to focus on the bright red numbers. It was 5:30. I hadn't slept even six hours. I moaned and flopped back down on my pillow, squeezing my eyes shut.
As I lay there, I remembered my promise to spend 15 minutes every morning praying and doing devotions. This morning, that was a promise my tired body just couldn't keep. Maybe I can just stay in bed and pray instead, I thought.
I started praying, but drifted off to sleep a few minutes later. Before I knew it, the alarm buzzed again—5:45. No time for devos today, I thought as I slowly dragged myself out of bed. Maybe later tonight—after cheerleading and play practice, and once I get my homework done.
But "later" never came. Instead of spending time with God, my nights would be filled with activities and homework until I crashed. My mornings would usually wind up like this one—a battle to even get out the door on time for another jam–packed day.
My over–involvement started innocently enough. I loved playing the saxophone, so marching band was a perfect fit. Practice was early in the morning, which left the afternoons free for another activity. So when I made the cheerleading squad I was ecstatic.
Then, my best friend, Debby, convinced me to try out for the school play. Practice was in the evening, so it wouldn't interfere with anything. After that, my guidance counselor talked me into tutoring grade school kids during lunch. Who could say no to little kids? It all seemed manageable at first, and I knew it would look great on my college applications.
But just a few weeks into my sophomore year, I was burning out. There wasn't enough time to juggle homework, classes and other activities and still leave time for family, friends and God. My commitment to daily devotions and prayer seemed like a distant memory.
One night, after an extra–long cheerleading practice, I slouched over the kitchen table, exhausted. My mom and sister had eaten two hours earlier, so it was another dinner alone.
"Did you have a good day?" Mom asked, taking my plate out of the refrigerator and placing it in the microwave.
"No," I said. "It was awful. It was just like yesterday and the whole week before that. There's just not enough time to get everything done."
"Amy, you seem overwhelmed," she said gently. "I'm worried that you're too busy. Could you consider dropping out of something?"
"Like what?" I snapped. "I'd be letting people down. Besides, I like everything I'm in."
"You do?" she asked, raising her eyebrows. "You don't look happy to me."
"I can't think about this now," I said, taking the warm plate from her hands. "I have to be back at school in half an hour for play practice."
As I wolfed down my food, I worked on my biology homework. But before I could finish either my homework or my dinner, I had to leave for play practice.