Friday, July 18, 2008

Too tense to tango

I wasn't doing anything when I noticed it. Nobody was messing with me. I wasn't speaking or teaching or in a heated debate. I was just ... sitting. Just being. And I was tense. I mean REALLY tense. Like I was expecting a punch to the gut. You know what I mean. You've found yourself like that before. Stressed with no real reason.

I tried a little self-analysis. What is it that's making me so tight? What happened that left me tense and ready for "fight or flight." And what does it all mean? Why and what. It occupied my mind for a few minutes with no real results.

And then it hit me. Okay, that is a bad choice of words. Nothing "hit" me. Then it OCCURRED to me.

I am either too stressed or I am not stressed enough. Too tense or not tense enough. But my current level is totally inappropriate.

Here's the deal. I am a Christ follower. I believe everything Jesus said is true. I trust Him. I believe that He is alive today and living in me through the presence of His Holy Spirit

Now, if I am right, then I am way too uptight. If Jesus is who He said He is then I've got nothing to worry about. Nothing to stress over. He knew well in advance about every situation, every sin, every defect of my life. He figured it all into the equation before I was ever even born. And He went to the cross and died in order to take care of my every situation, every sin, and every defect. None are excluded. If I blow apart and commit some horrible sin later today or in five years, Jesus already knew and had already paid for it because I am His. If my life situation blows apart and I find myself alone and destitute, Jesus already took that into consideration and He has provided all I need to get through it. And so if I am right about Jesus then I am WAY over stressed.

And if I am wrong? If Jesus didn't do all of those things? If He was just kidding? If His sacrifice and grace are not sufficient? Then I am WAY under stressed. Because I am in deep trouble and nothing is going to fix that. I have an expiration date and it is quickly approaching. There is nothing I can do about it. So I really ought to be more tense and stressed than I am.

But my current stress level? Entirely inappropriate. I can think of no circumstances under which living life moderately stressed is appropriate. Jesus was who He said He was and did what He said He did ... or not. I am either over stressed or under stressed. But the middle of the road isn't a viable option.

Well. That's what I learned today. So I thought I would share it with you. Now all I have to do is figure out how to put it into practice. I have to learn how to dance when I should be dancing. That ... is where I always blow apart.

Pray for me and I'll pray for you.


Kathy G said...

Great words to ponder today...

Anonymous said...

Anxiety...that has been my big problem and I didn't even know it until a couple of weeks ago. I was reading somewhere in the Bible where anxiety weights us down (adds weight to our heart) and it made perfect sense. I eat when I feel anxious.

Jesus tells us to not be anxious, but in all things giving praise and thanks. God will care for us. I have been praying at the least hint of anxiety for the past couple of weeks. I keep coming across readings, sermons, and other communications about anxiety. I think God is really getting my attention.