I start grad-school on Monday. I’m taking three classes. Tomorrow night I am playing a show at 30/30 Coffee here in Peoria, which will likely end up being the very last show I play in my lifetime. I’ve been playing solo shows for the last 13 years of my life, and with bands since 1997, and I am pretty confident this will be my last one. I haven’t played one in almost a year, and with school starting on top of everything else I think that part of my life is done. I am leading worship at my church on Sunday, and in two weeks am playing music at a wedding. I am teaching a class through November at church. On October 15 and 22 I will be doing a training at a church in Macomb. On October 30th, I will be In Dallas putting on a conference with Crescent project for 5 days, and the following week I am going to another conference in Denver with my wife. I have two jobs, a wife, and two kids. And today, for the first time in about 11 years, I’m feeling overwhelmed.
The reason I feel overwhelmed has little to do with all of my upcoming activities. I feel overwhelmed because I read a class syllabus. It’s been years since I read a syllabus, and I have never read one so in depth as the one for my upcoming Leviticus class. I’ve traditionally always felt overwhelmed by syllabi. I remember every single one I have read since I started college in 1999, and those memories came flooding into my mind as I read this syllabus today. I freak out every time I read a syllabus.
I’m not exactly sure why. I think its insecurity, or self-awareness, or the sheer amount of work that it seems my classes are going to entail. I think, “How in the world am I ever going to accomplish all of this at the same time?” The funny thing is, I’ve always been able to do everything that any syllabus I have ever read has required of me. I always do the work. I always find the time. But right now, I can’t fathom it.
It’s so much work.
I’m trying to remind myself of my successful undergraduate work. I’m trying to remember college again, and how I maintained a 3.5+ GPA throughout my college career while working and getting married in the process. I’m trying to tell myself that I am a good student and that I can do it. But its so big. And I want to continue to do my best in all of the other areas of my life. I want to be a (marginally) good husband and father. I want to invest in my relationships. I want to do by best in my jobs. I want to keep exercising. I want to keep volunteering as much as I have in the last 3 years. And I want to be a good student.
But I’m not a good planner. I do best when I can adapt to life’s twists and turns. I don’t do great at planning ahead. I don’t like planning. But now life requires me to plan every moment of my life. If I don’t, I will fail. And I’m afraid of failure. I’m afraid of finding out that I can’t do everything.
Things are about to get really difficult for the next three years. God, please help me make it through.