My cousin calls it “clumping”: those times when demands upon our life converge in a perfect storm. We face demands from employees, employers, clients and supervisors. We face demands from our family: marriages that need nurture; children who struggle with growth issues from the cradle to college; aging parents with failing health. Unexpected illness strikes us when we least expect it. “Clumping” times steal away our breath and rob us of our energy. Sleep is elusive and when it comes is often filled with restless nightmares of unfulfilled obligations.
Even Jesus experienced “clumping.” As his fame spread, the demands made upon him multiplied. The Gospels say that he didn’t even have time to eat. At one point he was so exhausted that a life-threatening storm couldn’t wake him. Thousands pressed in upon him from dawn to dusk seeking help. His own family rejected him. His closest followers disagreed with him. His enemies hounded him.