Confession: I’m an “overthinker.” I even bought a book titled Women Who Think Too Much. Honestly, only someone who is an overthinker would buy this book, right? I didn’t get through it however because I realized a few chapters in that the writer was also an overthinker. I tossed it aside, vowing not to be this kind of person so I didn’t have to read books about it.
So when I came across this verse in The Message, it stopped me in my tracks and my overthinking tendencies kicked in full force: Dear, dear Corinthians, I can’t tell you how much I long for you to enter this wide-open spacious life. We didn’t fence you in. The smallness you feel comes from within you. Your lives aren’t small, but you’re living them in a small way. I am speaking as plainly as I can and with great affection. Open up your lives. Live openly and expansively! (2 Corinthians 6: 10-13) There are those times when the Bible doesn’t bring me comfort, peace, or a shower of warm emotion. Instead, I feel hit over the head and I begin to think, think, think. So I will take you down the road of an overthinker.
First step of an overthinker, questions: “Am I living a wide-open spacious life?” “Do I even know what this might look like?” Have I fenced myself in?” and the final, haunting question, “Am I living small, when that is the exact opposite of how I have been created to live?”
Second step of an overthinker, evaluation: I began to list the ways in which I might have fenced myself into a small life:
- I control my schedule so that there is little for spontaneous relationships or new and different opportunities
- I have surrounded myself with people who mostly think and look like me
- I only give to others – either time or money – from my leftovers
- I make my life safe and comfortable by accumulating more and more stuff
- I don’t like interruptions
- I never consider the possibility that the previous five things might be a little disappointing to God.