Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Juggling Chainsaws

My dog, Nyute, was so frightened by my anger that he peed on the floor in front of me. That's an effective method of keeping your temper under control, so that the carpet stays clean. Why was I so bent out of shape? I'm taking a class at DTS that has assigned a group project. Group projects are in vogue now among professors who want to demonstrate that they're keeping up with educational theory. Well, what if you're part of a group who all are quite persnickety about producing an "A" project, but you're content with a "B" in the course? How do you meet the group's demands? How do you perform so as not to let them down? The guys in my group are nice guys who all want to do well. I don't blame them at all. But the advent of a project like this, heaped upon the rest of the "busy-work" of the course, makes for a great deal of pressure brought to bear in life. 

The two courses I'm taking at Dallas Theological Seminary, added to the rigors of pastoral ministry and a family all feel as though I'm juggling chainsaws in the air. You don't want to drop any of them, for they might be damaged in a way that would require repair. You want to catch them just right, for catching them by anything but the handle could have painful consequences. So the resulting effect is an anxious existence whereby you'd like to drop a chainsaw, but fear to do so since innocents are standing nearby. You'd like life to be simpler, but you're not sure how that could happen. Such is the stuff of depression, for those who are susceptible to it.

I am numbered among those who are susceptible to depression. Naomi has testified to me that she has come to expect a season of this from me at least once a semester. I'd rather not be so affected by circumstances like this. It makes me feel so immature, since mood swings are a sign of either depression or immaturity. Nevertheless, I pray that God helps me cope well with the pressures mounting up during this time. I hate juggling chainsaws, but God's grace is sufficient such times as this too.

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