Good Morning Everyone!
Are you stressed today? Feeling overwhelmed, anxious and worried? It’s okay to feel these things stress follows us all around. We’ve all read about the “flight or fight” syndrome our bodies and minds go through when stress comes. According to www.dictionary.com the word is defined as “a specific response by the body to a stimulus”, or “physical, mental, emotional strain or tension.” A quick Google search with the word “Stress” yields over 38 million results! We are stressed sometimes everywhere we look!
At the end of this week I am headed to a spiritual retreat weekend and will bask in the joy of Jesus and I am stressed. I have a lot to do before I go and certain things I don’t want to forget, so I’ve started a list. I’m praying and then I look at the list. It seems odd to me to be stressed out before a spiritual retreat but I believe it’s normal. We all react differently to different situations and therein lies the key to dealing with stress. It is in our reaction and the way we see things. Then on the way home I see a woman sunbather out in front of her home (on highway 39) I thought was odd on a late September day. Then I thought “what do I do to relax?” So we went to the movies and I enjoyed “The Equalizer” with Denzel Washington (Not for everybody, pretty graphic). Movies are my own “time out” and a way to relax.
What do you do to take care of yourself? How do you relax? Can you relax? That’s the deeper question. And I’m very sure that most if not all of our stress we put on ourselves. We mentally make the worse situations come real, we beat ourselves up, we put pressure on ourselves and push over and over. Consistently in my ministry with patients I am offering “permission” to not be where they think they should be or to be doing what they think they should be doing!! I ask that they be a “patient” patient and rest so that they can mentally and physically help their recovery. And for you, also, I give you permission to be stressed and just “owning” it deeply reduces it! What can you let go of? What can you give away to God? And maybe the question is why do we heap so much on ourselves?
In Ezekiel 18:32 God encourages Ezekiel by saying “Turn, then, and live”. Ez is kind of stressed in this chapter and God does what God does best…offering a second chance. Let’s turn from our stress and live today! There is much to do-NOT to add to our to do list, NOT to add pressure or stress-these things we “GET” to do we don’t have to do: time in prayer, helping someone less fortunate, loving one another, donating to help a worthy cause, serving our patients, showing compassion. And what can we do to help alleviate the stress of someone else? If we take on some of the stress of someone else we are lightening their load-not adding to ours, subtracting theirs. To God be the glory, we have an any-time retreat available with the Lord every time and anytime we get stressed! I went to a pastor’s conference once and on the stage of this auditorium was this huge banner up that said “RELAX, YOU’RE NOT IN CHARGE!”