Handling stress ineffectively

Today I can’t seem to quiet my brain down to think. Either that is the problem or I just don’t have anything creative inside to work with. I want to have some brilliant thoughts to work with–something that will bless both of us because it was put to words. But I don’t seem to have the capacity for that today.

What I do have is a rushed feeling that fills my minute periods of silence. I have a strong ambition to get everything accomplished that is on my list for the day and not let the effort kill me. At the moment, that seems like a tall order. One I don’t know how to squeeze into the few hours with which I have to work. So I just keep working as fast as I can. I don’t want to get lost beneath the piles of uncompleted work, nor do I want to…to…

Well, I don’t know what else I don’t want. Is it that I don’t want to be embarrassed that I didn’t get more done with the time I had? Am I comparing myself to some imaginary genie who would no doubt put me to shame if he walked, for a day, in my own shoes? I don’t know. I think those things are part of it, but not all. Another part may be that I fear the consequences of not getting everything I have to do completed on time. I fear my own inadequacies. Not just that it will be seen, but that it is a reality too grievous for me to handle. I do my best to supersede it by doing everything I can to achieve–more, more, more!

But it all feels like a rat race. Rather than making me feel more capable and significant, it makes me feel less so. The hurried-ness I face provokes in me the fear that I can be swallowed-whole by tasks and requests that are too great for me, yet ought not to be. Amidst this mess, how can I think of being a conduit of blessing in my world? Before the Mount of De-emphesis I question my resources and worth, believing all that I claim is nothing.

But what does Paul say in 1 Corinthians 13? Only the one who has not love is of no benefit, “nothing” as it says. He didn’t say the person who can’t keep pace with their to-do list or the one who is crippled in their daily execution of life-on-schedule. These things only matter to the degree that they affect our ability to love.

In God’s kingdom you have innate worth. The real question is whether you will use your worth to build God’s kingdom or thwart it. Will you be a blessing–fulfilling the law of love by the empowerment of Christ–or will you forsake the essence of the One who gives you value in His love? Maybe how you and I answer that question will contribute to how we deal with stress. Maybe.