A Culture of Stress

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In a culture of triple shot espressos, rush hour trains, city-speed walking and endless work/class hours- how can I not worry? Living in New York City is not for the faint of heart and I’ve grown accustomed to intimate train rides with strangers at least once a week. I worry about pretty much anything and a strange part of me enjoys the worry. I rarely admit this to myself but feeling worried makes me think that I’m at least working. But in the midst of my “busy” and “stress” I hear God asking me, why do you worry Nina? God points to the lie that stress and worry should be a work day norm or even that I can blame my job for my worry. Matthew 6:25-34 warns us against embracing this culture of worry and anxiety.

 

1.Worry is rooted in a lack of trust.

25 “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes?26 Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?

God reminds us that the opposite of worrying is trusting that God will provide as he does for the birds of the air. Ultimately worry stems from a lack of trust that we hold.

2.God will give you more than you can ever find yourself

27 Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life? 28 “And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. 29 Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. 30 If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith?

How many times have I tried to find my own solution to problems and acted in haste? I think back to when I needed an internship for my Communications major. I couldn’t afford to work unpaid and all of my attempts at securing a job always seemed to lead me to illegitimate internships. I finally trusted in God and only interviewed for two places. The first place offered me a better position after meeting me. I ultimately accepted the second offer which was at a company I never thought I was “good” enough for. I still remember college friends telling me I was wasting my time with the “Christian club” and yet during my interview, my work with said Christian club got me the internship. It was completely out of my control and I thank God for how he gives.

3.Instead of worrying about things, seek God, the ultimate provider

31 So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’32 For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. 33 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. 34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.”
The secret to this passage is hidden in verse 33, “But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.” I am making a choice to seek God instead of money or prestige or success. Because every time I seek perfection out of my own strength I come to a striking halt. Instead, I choose chai lattes, quiet time in the mornings, long walks in the sun and trust in God. I lie to myself when I say that I am worried because of my job or graduate classes. Worrying is ultimately my choice and I can also make a decision to stop.

Day 28: Something that stresses you out

I find the timing of this post really funny, I have just a week before my math final and it is STRESSING ME OUT!  I think that all finals in general stress me out, but more so its the anticipation and fear.  Really that’s what anything in life really comes down to, fear.

I’m afraid of going for my final and realizing I know nothing.  I’m afraid of finding out whether or not I failed.  And waiting on these things turns me green with anticipation and STRESS!  Oh the stress.

The thing is, fear is crippling.  Fear can hold us back in so many different ways.  When I think back on this week, I’ve turned down at least 4 people I really wanted to spend time with because even if I procrastinate, I feel guilty having fun the week before my final.

It’s really stupid because I end up doing nothing all day anyway.  I just don’t want to allow myself the enjoyment of the company of my friends.

I remember going for my last math final and being so stressed out right before.  The final ended up being CRAZY easy and I passed with flying colors.  But right before I felt like I was going to puke.  All this anticipation was leading up to this one moment and when this moment came I didn’t really know what to do.

Because getting my final wasn’t really an awe inspiring moment.  I got my test, started and finished it like I would any other test.  Only difference was I actually really knew my stuff this time around.

It stresses me out that blackboard isn’t showing my final exam prep videos and that less and less time is there for me to study.  But it’s not until this stress really motivates me that I actually stop messing around and focus.  So I guess in many ways stress can be a really great thing.  It’s an amazing motivator for so many different reasons.

Nothing is impossible

So many times I look at my current situation and look at everything that is wrong.  I look at how easy my life would be without certain things and I make myself believe that only when this thing is gone I will be able to be happy, that I can BREATHE again.

In my most recent case I had felt that my school year would SUCK until my SATS were over.  It was okay but I had horrible time management and I blamed it all on the fact that SATS were taking ALL of my time.

Now it’s October and I have finished ALL of my exams AND, I am out of excuses.  It is still 10:18 pm and I have still have a bucket filled of work I have put off to do until now.  I have Physics, College essays, Business Homework and the list goes on.  I was exactly in the same place a month ago, the only difference is that I have no one to blame but myself.

So many times I feel as though teenagers are creatures of instinct.  We want to do what is convenient and easy for us. Because of this fact we come home and instead of starting our homework, we watch a rerun of the latest episode of Glee.  [THATS WHAT I DID xD]  We put off the homeworks we know will take forever to the very last minute.   Then we moan and groan and say that we have too much on our plate.

In this particular post my example would most directly apply to other teenagers but that doesn’t mean it does not apply to adults or even younger kids as well.  How many times do you put off important things because you feel tired?  How many times do we creatures of comfort simply deem things “impossible” when we start to feel uncomfortable.

Unlike many teenagers I love my sleep. I love the feeling of waking up after 8 or more hours of sleep and then curling up with a good book.  But at the same time, if I want to do these things I need to set my priorities straight.

This means realizing when to turn off the television set, when to take a break, when to push forward and when to call it a day.  Nothing is impossible if you’re willing to change your outlook and focus on God.

See you soon!

Nina

Luke 1: 37

“For nothing is impossible with God”