As much as we usually don’t like to admit it, stress is something that can sap the mental energy out of us. Stress can come from about anywhere…from jobs to relationships to beginning a new job to retirement. The sources seem unlimited.
Stress sometimes tries to define us, often succeeding.
There are books dealing with the subject of stress, seminars, studies and classes, not to mention that everybody seems to have an antidote that works for them. But stress is not a one size fit all, and some stress is actually good for us as we need some resistance to keep us strong and healthy.
But stress can be dangerous if we don’t accept the reality of it and find some way to get relief, even short term relief. We must find some way to channel that negative energy into something positive. I’ve known people who meditate, do yoga, or find some other quiet way relieve their stress, and some of these folks – the really serious ones – benefit from their mental exercises.
Some folks have other issues that are beyond their control and need medication to get them through the day. (We need to be more understanding with these folks)
And then there are the rest of us. Us who would like to exercise, meditate, do yoga, or any other of the disciplines that are extremely good for us, but our makeup is such that we just don’t slow down enough to do those things, our energy level soars and we need something to burn off that energy (That is just my philosophy and it’s not scientific).
All of that said, I noticed a stress reliever in my backyard the other day.
I thought it was rotten enough to just whack it a few times with an axe and it would disintegrate into nothing…wrong. Just beneath the surface of some rot was some really hard wood. After an hour or so of working on it I realized that this was going to be quite a process.
Instead of an obstacle, I began to see this as my stress reliever. I’ll let you know how that turns out.
I’ve been thinking this week about following Jesus. That may sound a bit elementary but I don’t think so because following Jesus is much more than answering a question saying “Yes, of course I follow Jesus.”
Following Jesus shows up in what we do, not just what we say. Following Jesus is also more than doing good. We think of the good words from John Wesley when he said:
“…do all the good you can, to all the people you can, by all the means you can, in all the places you can, as long as ever you can.”
That’s good stuff…but it’s not everything. Following Jesus is more than that. Following Jesus is becoming more like him, being a people who empty ourselves of anything that points to us. All of our actions, words, influence is to point toward Jesus. Easy? No it’s not. That’s pretty much why our walk of faith with Jesus is a process of becoming like him.
Practice is the order of the day. It’s here where Wesley’s rule comes into play, it’s part of the practice that helps us become the followers who are striving to look more like Jesus.
Practice is part of the process, it’s the means, not the end.
Just some thoughts toward Sunday…
Peace and practice
My reflections this morning took me to the letter of 1 Peter chapter one. Peter was writing to encourage and strengthen believers during difficult times.
Chuck Swindoll says of this letter to:
“…receive it as a personal missile sent from God’s arsenal of encouragement targeted for your heart.”
“Therefore, prepare your minds for action; be self-controlled; set your hope fully on the grace to be given you when Jesus Christ is revealed. As obedient children, do not conform to the evil desires you had when you lived in ignorance. But just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do; for it is written: ‘Be holy, because I am holy.’
…therefore rid yourselves of all malice and all deceit, hypocrisy, envy, and slander of every kind. Like newborn babies, crave pure spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow up in your salvation, now that you have tasted that the Lord is good.”
I’ve been thinking this week about the way we think. Jesus said in Matthew 5:43, “You’ve heard it said…” and he went on about what the law had to say. And then he said, “But I say to you…” and he offered a different way to think.
Jesus knew that if he could affect the way we think…he could affect the way we act. The goal? “Love God with all that you are, and love your neighbor as yourself.” (Mark 12:30-31).
|Bart on August 23, 2017|
|Jim on August 19, 2017|
|Plant Electrician on August 19, 2017|
|Jim on August 6, 2017|
|Bart on August 6, 2017|