The fact the world is a pressure cooker is not a surprise to most. Even those who have escaped to places less traveled remember and reminisce about what life is like in the “city”. When you stop to catch up with statistics you find the numbers overwhelming. Stress is attacking young and old, rich and poor, educated and not, in shape and out. Stimulants of all kinds help many cope, but the question remains; what are we going to do about it!
I would like to offer a couple of suggestions. The demands grapping you and me are not going to go away or materially change tomorrow, the day after, or even the days to come; there is always something which sits on someone’s to-do list, silently waiting for someone to tick it done. The underlying pressures will continue. There will be little change except for the list growing longer, demands and pressure increasing, and time going into hiding. Yet demands, time, and pressure was and is not the challenge at hand. They have, are, and will always be here. Rather than fight the three arrows my suggestion is to acknowledge their existence with respect.
The question at hand is rather simple. Given life, whatever it is, however you was to see it, what are you going to do next?
Our answer defines our true mission and vision for who and what we are. If you look at how others answered it the examples can be initially seen as strange. On many occasions Mahatma Gandhi simply worked on creating thread. Jesus in the final days of his life “got up from the supper table, set aside his robe, and put on an apron.” (John 13.4) Both examples lead me to make my second suggestion. In times of stress, when you are overwhelmed, as life seems to be closing in, take control and choose what you will do in this moment. Let each decision reflect the values you hold most dear. In this context – love deep and long, give grace away freely, and above all be compassionate.
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