Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Necessary vs. Unnecessary Stress

I think that earlier in my life and in ministry I blamed a lot of the stress in my life on the fact that I was involved in vocational ministry. After living a little I believe that much of the stress I faced at a younger age was due to poor planning and a lack of wisdom on my part. As I travel through life I am learning that there are certain stresses of life that come as a result of being a Christ-follower and living obediently in relationship with God and there are stresses that come as a result of poor decision making. I am finding that it is important for me to separate and even analyze the stress that I face. Of the stress I am currently facing, which of this is a result of my lack of wisdom and which is a result of me choosing to follow Christ. As I separate these two types of stress I can go to work on that which is a result of poor planning. I can also plan in advance on events in my life and analyze potential stress points. I can then work on how to make those events just as purposeful but less stressful. This is one lesson I learned in our move across the country. There was no way to avoid the fact that we had to move across country if we were going to start a church in California, but there were some ways to make this situation the least stressful. So we raised money to offset some costs, thought through all the details and did everything possible to make it smooth. There were some minor challenges like movers not showing up on time and stuff getting broken because the movers didn't pack it correctly. But this is stuff that was out of my control. After all of this, because we planned and asked for God's help in moving efficiently and effectively we are focused and ready to get after it! So I wonder, of the stress that is currently in your life. Which of it can be removed by thinking strategically about your steps. Stop working in your life and start working on your life. Think about your actions, spend 30 minutes planning your days, spend time planning projects, calculate the costs prior to operation. As you do this more and more you will become better. Ask God to lead you in your planning and reduce some of the unnecessary stress in your life.