I’ve always been that person who lives out of the emphatic expression of my emotions.
Growing up, Mom would tell me I wore my feelings on my sleeves. When I was little, I’d look for them there and was confused by their nonexistence.
I’ve been referred to as a drama queen, an actress with too much emotion for many. I’ve been reminded that I need to control my emotions, “calm down”, and not be so quick to let others know how I feel.
I might as well be told to sprout wings and find a home in a tree.
Life of late seems to accentuate those feelings. COVID has been around for over a year. Working virtually, wearing a mask, social distancing have become our national and global norms. Isolation is becoming symptomatic of our current reality–depression, despair, and loneliness are more present in every culture.
Children are especially prone to these wide pendulum swings of feelings. Their lives have been upended by virtual school situations; friends they used to connect with constantly are seen only on screens.
Emotions are big and messy. We need to figure out a way not to run our lives by the power and force of our feelings.
Growing up outside of Chicago, we’d often take the train into the city for activities or work. Nobody ever invited us onto the engine–the engineer was the only one capable of driving the train. Everyone else filed into the passenger cars. Quiet conversations would happen, people napped, or read. We weren’t invited to drive the train because we lacked the qualifications to do so.
Our global train is now being driven by emotion. Anger, fear, divisiveness, anxiety–none of those are prepared to drive this life train. All our feelings are oozing like an infection over everyone. It takes wisdom, listening, patience, and hope to move this vehicle forward. Not overwhelming emotion.
Emotions are God-given gifts to inform us of our life experiences. They’re there to remind us of the constant ebb and flow of life; the good and bad, the beauty and the unseemly, the joy and sadness. They are also gifts of better understanding our own needs so we have the capacity to respond to others in need as well. They’re meant as gems of insight.
Not burdensome rocks.
Right now life feels oppressive. We’re weary with the heaviness of what’s happening in the world. It’s easy to lose the capacity to respond rationally and instead react emotionally.
Jesus, knowing how the Jews were being persecuted by the Romans of His day and feeling the burden of the heaviness of the religious rulers, invited all to a place of rest. “Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest.” Matthew 11:28.
Isn’t rest what we long for? Release from the crushing emotions that don’t let up because we’re allowing our circumstances to drive our responses?
Jesus is uniquely qualified to give rest. He took on the mess of the world to provide hope for each of us. The chance to stop trying to do and be all ourselves.
He’s offering to take on your concerns.
What keeps you from letting Him do that?