I just finished taking an “are you stressed?” survey. It consisted of checking off a list of possible stressors that in your life. The stressor that I was focused on isn’t even on the list. I looked for a blank to “write in” my favorite but could find no place to do that. Computers are so narrow-minded.
Even without my focused on major stressor, I think I “failed” the test. “Your score means a significant amount of life change and a significant susceptibility (about 80% probability) to stress-related illness.” I’m feeling sick already.
Sleep deprivation is my favorite stress illness.
I really hadn’t thought about many of the stressors on the list that I’m facing: retirement, change in work situation, change in economic situation, new family member (come on great grand son), change, change change. I’m having a lot of it. In fact, most of it is good. My office is better organized than ever. I appreciate the beautiful property we live on more than ever. I have finally cancelled all the cable channels I never watch. I have admitted that my wife has been right all along and TIVO is the only way to watch television. I am eating like I’m supposed to. My wife and I are enjoying life to a new degree. I’m feeling support from family. I’m looking forward to a life-long dream of taking the grand kids to Branson. I have new long hoped for opportunities for ministry.
So why am I a candidate for “stress-related illness.”
It’s all about change. I’m learning that God sends or allows the stressors in our lives to nudge us in new and exciting directions. They force us to look at where we are and where we are going and to stop looking at and living in the past. They involve new stages in life which we have looked at as endings instead of the blessed beginnings that they are.
If you are feeling stressed, it means God is trying to make you uncomfortable with where you are and motivated to go where you need to be. Once you id the real sources of stress, the lies of Satan are vanquished, and the promises of God renewed, life doesn’t just go on, it goes up.
If you’re stressed, thank God. You are really blessed.