At Your Best

Day 1 of 5 • This day’s reading

Devotional

This Much Stress Is Not Okay


Today, practically all of us are overwhelmed, overcommitted, and overworked. Parents feel perpetually behind. Retired people are stressed. So are entry-level employees and high school students, who are increasingly being rattled by anxiety and panic attacks. Meanwhile, entrepreneurs, mid-level managers, nurses, lawyers, tradespeople, first responders, accountants, church leaders, and even the medical doctors who diagnose our stress find themselves deluged just trying to keep up with everything. 


Which is really quite remarkable. After all, how did the most prosperous people who ever lived (which is everyone in the developed world in the twenty-first century) make their lives about survival? Seriously. I mean, you and I hardly have to make our own loincloths or hunt deer in the forest to feed our families. There is little about your life or mine that requires us to merely survive, but in the midst of being the most affluent and free people who ever lived, we’ve enslaved ourselves to survival. 


How on earth did we get to the place where we say things like the following? 


“I just need to make it to summer vacation.” 


“Let me survive final exams.” 


“Really, my goal is to get through to July, and then all will be good … I hope.” 


Many of us have found ourselves in a place we didn’t want to be: resenting the life and career we’ve so carefully built. Or if we’re not there yet, we’re getting close. 


So, let me ask you: Are you eager to escape from your reality? Is your life filled with activity on the outside and emotional emptiness on the inside? 


This kind of life is not healthy. Nor is it how God desires us to live. 


Jesus, in fact, lived and taught a completely different lifestyle—unhurried, deeply disciplined, and world-changing. He invites you to live differently too, and the benefit is peace.


“Do not worry about tomorrow,” Jesus says. He’s inviting you to trust. Your objective is far greater—“his kingdom and his righteousness” (Matthew 6:33-34).


In what ways have you been feeling overwhelmed, overcommitted, and overworked lately?