Stress, we all have felt it, medical research shows that too much stress can be very damaging to the body, and in my opinion the soul. For example I just recently had a very “stressful” weekend, I had issues with my teenage son, I was talked into getting a puppy and yes the puppy sounds nice but as I am writing this the little thing is running around not giving me time to concentrate. When will I have time to write, do my podcast, or my promised weekly videos? On top of working a full time job, making sure my son stays on track to graduate high school and trying to maintain some sort of spirituality! Now you may be reading this thinking that I am overreacting, and I am sure I am. In fact I believe I have been sinning, as I have written in previous articles that to sin is to miss the mark of God’s perfect will for our lives, I believe I have not been in God’s will all weekend. On top of that my frustration and anger has created an even more mentally destabilizing atmosphere for my household. So in this, I repent, I will just breathe and know that everything will be okay. I know many may not agree with this, I do not even know if I am correct as if I know anything of the spiritual, but our lives seem to be as a record being played on a cosmic record player and when we sin it skips. As in my weekend it seemed to have been skipping for two days straight. God wanted me to be within the grooves which he had preordained and I chose to allow myself to skip and scratch the record until it came back in line. To do this I needed to acknowledge and accept what I have done, repent to God and those I have offended by my behavior. So I could get back into His groove. I like you desire to live in complete serenity and within the groove of Gods record of my life. Yes Jesus said do not get anxious, but He walked on water, calmed the storms, I cannot do that, or can I? It all boils down to choice, are you going to allow the situations in life create even greater stress through giving in to the fleshly urge of trying to carve out your own groove, or are you going to try to skip your way back into God’s grove in which He has already established for you, making life much more easier?
I call it the domino effect of stress and frustration. It can start out small or large but if you give in the dominos are lined up and ready to fall over creating a mess. It takes a lot longer to set up the dominos that it does to watch them fall. We all know that recovery is hard no matter what it is. Let me look back at this weekend. My son skipped half the day at school and is not doing so hot grade wise, my fiancée always makes sure to point these things out as I often overlook what I deem as trivial teenage mischief, all I wanted to do after work on Friday was to get ready, go out to eat and listen to some live music, we did that as well as talking about the kid all night, boy oh boy what a buzz kill! The next day while I was still a little upset about the night before I am informed of a puppy that she wanted to purchase. She is addicted to the animal pages on Facebook which I wish she would remove because I am constantly asked to let her get a dog. I was already talked into a cat which turned out great, cats are easy, but a dog, let alone a puppy! That’s a lot of work! I will spare you all the in-betweens let me just say I wasn’t the happiest new puppy owner. I like my quiet lifestyle and my alone time to read, pray, and meditate. If you have not noticed by now I had been running away from things and holding on to what I thought was important, I blew up more than a few times and did not spend much time in prayer, if any!
Rewinding the script, what could I have done better? Instead of knocking over the mental dominos of stress, creating a mess that I am picking up on Monday morning which by the way is much worse than any mess which the puppy or my son made, I could have acted completely different and stayed with God’s groove. First, Friday night could have been spent at home doing a family activity instead of wanting to do something my way, second the eventual getting a puppy was inevitable at some point, as I look at her now I cannot help but smile at the little precious. I was looking at my weekend off as something I could control, as if I were God and I could cut out my own groove on the record. I know we all try, and unfortunately I am sure I will sin in this way again, I am human. I decided to write this today because I think that you can relate. It may not be about a teenage son and a puppy, but many other issues of life in which you have tried to control but just could not. While we do not have to allow life to control us we must be able to carefully discern what we can control and what we need to allow. We need to control our actions and emotions instead of knocking over the dominos and doing things “my way.” Not just most of the time, all of the time when we try to do things “our way” outside of the will of God we will cause undue stress upon our bodies and soul. I know that it may be hard to discern these things even for the most mature Christian, which I am not. We live in the ultimate proving ground called earth, staying within God’s will for us is one of the hardest things we can do, but I will say most rewarding. My final thoughts, do not skip out of your groove into an awful repeating struggle of stress and misery, instead pray for peace and discernment as you follow along the path God has already established for you. Blessings my friends, I pray that you find a peace filled week and not allow this world to take you out of your groove!