The Need of the Hour for Stressed Disciples of Jesus

 

OK, frankly, I have stressed myself out.  You too?  I know you’re out there.  All in the name of doing good things with independent American energy.  I busied myself with trying to please too many people while ignoring healthy boundaries I needed to make; I set aside life-giving activities like creative writing to tackle “should do this now”  life-sucking stuff; I was fearful and worried all the time and not realizing it; I was disorganized, lots of procrastination on decisions and actions that could’ve cut down my stress levels had I been able to decide and move on activities needed; I pushed self and others, multi-tasking and attempting to solve problems of all sorts, all at one time!

Is there another life I could live..with less stress?  I am a disciple of Jesus.  Does it have to be this way? Like the motto here is “Stressed is Best.”  So wrong to live that way.

“Stressed disciples”—that’s not a fair descriptor of New Testament disciples, but it fits most disciples in the 21st century.  Sad, don’t you think?  How are we good news?

So I am deciding to let go of thinking, emoting, and deciding in ways that make stress prominent.  I didn’t know that I needed to examine its life-zapping role in my life until my body began a serious protest two years ago.  Insomnia and anxiety began to dominate and shrink my life down.

So I began to search out the root causes.  Blood tests revealed high cortisol levels.  I rigorously changed my diet to healthier–had been slowly moving that way.  I began to walk 5 times a week.  And being a person of faith, I also prayed from Psalm 139:23-24—“Search me, O God, and know my heart!  Test me and know my anxious thoughts!  Point out anything in me that offends You, and lead me along the path of everlasting life.”

I didn’t realize what a powerful prayer that was, to invite God into your soul to examine your thought life, attitudes, decisions.  It helped change everything.  And I saw something precious missing as I examined my life, holding His hand.

Through the up’s and down’s of the years,  I had had a tremendous de-stressor that I gradually gave up, not seeing its value in the midst of pressing commitments and needs to be ‘productive.’  It truly fits Cinderella’s foot like the glass slipper.  A one of a kind solution for stressed disciples of Jesus today who want to live a life that matters, a life that truly serves others but doesn’t use you up in the process.

Won’t solve all your stress problems, but it will begin to help you de-stress and at the same time, greatly enrich your life.  Yes, add that dollop of whipped cream to your mug right now!

I’m talking about finding a like minded disciple who wants to live a life that matters, serving others while not getting used up and drained down a sink hole, that wants to experience the abundant life Jesus promised disciples and bring that Good News to others.

Grab this person, thank God for the chance to get together at least once a week and share your lives, pray together about any and everything (instead of worrying about anything), and watch how life begins to sparkle a little, how burdens get a bit lighter, life gets more… do-able.

I have this kind of friendship locally and by phone connecting with a friend on the west coast.  We text requests when we can’t meet.  But best of all there are heart to heart conversations, sharing problems, goals, negative feelings that once named don’t hold so much power over you, positive actions and aspirations that get prayed for right alongside pressing problems, people concerns, money, whatever you want to share!

There are many ways to de-stress.  This is just one, a mighty good one.   So find a prayer buddy, connecting weekly or more often–yay, texting.  Then there will be 2 of you meeting together and agreeing together with Jesus in the midst of you!  Try it out and watch your stresses shrink.  We all need less stress.  Jesus said our yokes would be easy and our burdens light when we are His disciples.  Might this be part of His plan, the One who sent out His own two by two?

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