Too Much To Do?

By Marjorie F. Eddington and a High School Student

Categories: Perseverance

In today's fast-paced, high-pressured society, it's easy to feel stressed out or overwhelmed by the amount of work we have to do in a very short amount of time. Wouldn't it be nice to get everything done without feeling like we just want to quit, stop the clock, or hide from the world?

It is possible.

A psalmist tells us, "I trusted in thee, O Lord: I said, Thou art my God. My times are in thy hand" (Ps 31:14, 15 KJV). Our "times" and everything we have to do are in God's hands. That means we can trust God to work things out and direct our thoughts and actions. That way, there's less pressure on us. It's all God.

And a teenager gained some helpful insights as she prayed when she needed to balance academics, sports, and music. What she learned can be applied to any situation, at any age, at any time. Enjoy being inspired by her story.

Today's teens seem to be under a lot of pressure to cram knowledge into their heads and be at the top of their class so that they can get into the best colleges and universities. The college acceptance process is highly competitive. This puts a lot of pressure on teens, who can have trouble just doing their homework successfully, let alone balancing sports or other extracurricular activities.

I had trouble adjusting to the homework level at my new school. My old school gave less challenging work that didn't require me to expand my mind. The work droned on and used up time. However, if we students were good at memorizing, we performed phenomenally. When I transferred to my new high school, I realized that I was getting homework that required a deeper level of thinking and took longer to complete.

I also participate in sports and play violin. Violin requires an hourly practice each night. Since most of my time was being taken up with studying, I was not finding even thirty minutes to practice, which caused concern from my violin teacher. I have been playing for seven years, and for the first time, I thought about quitting because I was having such a hard time adjusting to the homework.

After awhile, I realized that this is not what God would want for me. Playing the violin brought joy to me and to others, and that joy needed to be shared. We read in Matthew, "Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven" (5:16 KJV). This passage showed me that it was wrong to allow my thoughts to be overcome by the feeling that I did not have time in my day to express God.

I did not want to accept this "error." Of course I had enough time in my day to express God. If God can't be burdened, neither could I. I had to change my thinking. I came to the conclusion that I shouldn't allow my thoughts to be limited by time. God never gives us more than we can handle.

We read in Isaiah, "And the work of righteousness shall be peace; and the effect of righteousness quietness and assurance for ever" (32:17 KJV). Everything that we need to do is governed by God, not by time. I would no longer allow myself to be burdened by the idea of excessive studies, homework, and responsibilities. Everything is in God's hands, not mine.

As I prayed and worked on these thoughts, practical ways came to me to solve the problem of feeling pressured by too much to do with too little time. These are some ways we can accomplish all that needs to be done:

  • Be engaged in what you do.
  • Approach the hard subjects first.
  • If you know you have a test coming up, study in advance.
  • Don't let the amount of homework bring you down; just do each subject one by one, and focus on what you're learning.
  • Do not procrastinate.
  • Use your study hall and after school time wisely.

If we are doing the work at hand, then there is nothing to hold us back from accomplishing it. It's not the amount of time we spend, but how engaged we are in the process. The result will be a sense of peace.
– high school student

There is a way not to get worried when we have too much to do in too little time. We don't have to break under a sense of burden. Rather, we can turn away from the problems and turn to God. When we focus on and trust in God, we have a glorious promise, the promise of peace:

Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee. (Isa 26:3 KJV)