Although stress is not new, the fast pace of the technological age has deceived us. We have all these modern gadgets to make life easier, but they combine to inundate us with stressful stimuli 24/7. Additionally, we are often our own worst enemy by packing our lives so full that we have no margin. When something unexpected occurs, we have no reserves with which to deal with it. Imagine, for instance, a day in the life of a father of three children:
He left work early that morning as usual. For 45 minutes he battled rush-hour traffic before even getting to work. There, he found himself five minutes late for a meeting with his boss and an important client. The rest of his day was a blur of activity, leaving no time for lunch. He merely grabbed more coffee and a bag of potato chips on the run.
Late in the day, he glanced at the clock and realized that if he didn’t leave right away, he’d be late for his son’s baseball game. But while leaving the office, a senior manager detained him for ten minutes. Finally breaking free, he sprinted to the car, contended with the rush-hour crush again and called his wife to tell her he was running late and would have to meet them at the ball field. She was not happy with him.
He arrived at the ball field just in time to see his son go up to bat. He pecked a kiss on his wife’s cheek and hugged his two little girls. Finally, in a more relaxed state, his mind drifted back to the unsettling conversation he had with the senior manager just before leaving work. Deep in his thoughts, he missed his son crossing the home plate.
After the game, the family had arranged to meet with a few other families from the team for ice cream. It was 8 o’clock by the time they got home, and he still hadn’t eaten supper. He helped his wife put the kids to bed and stood in front of the open refrigerator looking for something to eat. The microwave flashed 8:40pm as he heated some leftover spaghetti and sat down with his wife in front of the TV.
At 10pm, he was exhausted and dragged himself to the bathroom to get ready for bed. He popped a couple of antacids to calm his stomach. He also had a pounding headache and realized that it was probably dehydration as he couldn’t remember the last time he had any water during the day. So, he drank a glass of water.
His head hit the pillow at 10:20pm, but he couldn’t fall asleep, as he was frustrated by the lack of time he had spent lately with his wife and kids. He also felt guilty for not exercising and eating right. His weight had been climbing steadily. Finally, he fell into a fitful sleep until his alarm went off at 5am to repeat his daily routine all over again!
Such is the stressful lifestyle for so many Americans, but Jesus offers a more peaceful approach.
Scripture Reading: Luke 10:38–42
To what extent does the above scenario describe your life? Based on the above passage in Luke, what would it look like for you to pare your life down to those few things that really matter?
Jim Grassi, D. Min.
We cherish any verse in Scripture that reminds us to keep focused and intentional about evangelism and discipleship. “But you, keep your head in all situations, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, discharge all the duties of your ministry.” 2 Timothy 4:5