One is the stress that comes with the situation before you and the other is the stress you bring with you into the situation before you.
For example, if your job is to produce so many widgets per hour then there is going to be stress upon you as you try to this. Just the effort to stay focused will be stressful. Not only that, but there is the stress of knowing that at any moment a machine may break down, a member of the team may call in sick, or the international space station may fall from the sky and land on your workplace.
This type of stress is normal (except maybe for the space station falling from the sky) and, whether at home, work, or play, just comes with living life.
However, the stress you bring with you into any given situation is an entirely different story.
It is amazing how much we complicate our lives with unnecessary stress.
For example, maybe you’re one of those people who insist on operating under the illusion that life is supposed to be fair and thus you bring with each day the unnecessary stress of resentment because so-and-so is not “carrying their weight” when it comes to producing those widgets.
Like an old hound dog who vomits its meal and then eats it again, people do this every day. During lunch they regurgitate their grievances about ole so-and-so and the sorry job they are doing. On the way home they spit up their grievances and chew on them while fighting afternoon traffic. Then the next morning they chew on it some more as they fight the morning traffic back to work. By the time they’re at work they’re exhausted from all the stress they bring with them.
You can bring unnecessary stress into a marriage, a friendship, your church, your work…anywhere.
You do this by expecting people to live up to your expectations. You do this by putting unrealistic expectations on yourself. You do this by insisting that things be done the way you want them done. You do this by worrying about all the things that might happen or the things that have already happened (which you can’t do a thing about).
Why do this?
Look, you’re not God; it’s your job to be faithful, to do your best for the glory of God and the welfare of those under your care. There’s enough stress that comes with doing that, no need bringing extra stress into the situation.
- The ONE THING for today: Live in the moment; give it your best; expect people to fail; celebrate them when they don’t; give them grace when they do; and leave the rest in the hands of God; that’s about all one person can do.
34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.
Matthew 6:34 (NKJV)