I’m a little stressed.
I’m getting on a plane in a touch over 24 hours and I have about three days worth of things to do before I can go. I’ve been scrambling furiously to catch up, but I didn’t budget my time all that well. Now I am paying the price for my mistake by shorting sleep and taking on way too much stress. I’m trying to make up the difference with massive coffee consumption.
Paul wrote some good advice to people like me in a letter we have in the Bible that he wrote to some friends. I like the way The Message puts it
Don’t fret or worry. Instead of worrying, pray. Let petitions and praises shape your worries into prayers, letting God know your concerns. Before you know it, a sense of God’s wholeness, everything coming together for good, will come and settle you down. It’s wonderful what happens when Christ displaces worry at the center of your life.
I have to ask myself if I really believe that. Do I really believe that God will take care of my business if I allow myself to stop worrying and ask for His help?
I mean my religious, Christian side would give that advice to anyone else I found in my spot, right? So if I know how to get rid of worry, why do I still keep it all?
Because if I truly believed what Paul had to say I wouldn’t feel this overpowering need to be in control of everything all the time and then get stressed out when things didn’t go the way I wanted them to.
Maybe it would help to listen to some of what Jesus said when he gave his famous Sermon on the Mount.
“So I tell you, don’t worry about everyday life–whether you have enough food, drink, and clothes. Doesn’t life consist of more than food and clothing? Look at the birds. They don’t need to plant or harvest or put food in barns because your heavenly Father feeds them. And you are far more valuable to him than they are. Can all your worries add a single moment to your life? Of course not.
“And why worry about your clothes? Look at the lilies and how they grow. They don’t work or make their clothing, yet Solomon in all his glory was not dressed as beautifully as they are. And if God cares so wonderfully for flowers that are here today and gone tomorrow, won’t he more surely care for you? You have so little faith!
“So don’t worry about having enough food or drink or clothing. Why be like the pagans who are so deeply concerned about these things? Your heavenly Father already knows all your needs, and he will give you all you need from day to day if you live for him and make the Kingdom of God your primary concern.
“So don’t worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring its own worries. Today’s trouble is enough for today.”
You know, my faith may be pretty stinking puny, and I probably stress because I am not really willing to let go of my control and trust what God says. But I do feel better for having read those words this morning.
For now, it’s time to go to work.
Here’s to hoping your day just got a little less stressful too.
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