Today @ The Gathering: How to Manage Stress

What better subject to talk about the week after the devastating floods here in Nashville than the subject of stress?  It’s not how to avoid stress that’s the concern.  You can avoid stress by being dead.  Every living thing is under stress of some kind.  Stress all by itself is not a bad thing; it’s stress that is out of control.

We get stressed in three ways.  We get over-loaded, over-extended, over time.  One of these three isn’t bad.  We’ve all been over-extended.  There are certainly times that demand that we work harder.  Overloaded: we’ve all carried heavier loads at times than others.  It’s the over time: doing it every day.  That’s what we’re in danger of here in Nashville; of being overloaded, over-extended, over time, trying to hurry up and recover and act like this never happened.  The truth is, we now live in a different world, and we need to embrace it and make it a better world.

Stress is not only bad when it goes unmanaged, it’s really terrible because of what it does to us.  It makes us sloppy, stupid, and short-sighted. Put all three of those things together in one person and you’ve got a prescription for disaster.

So today we talked about how to manage stress.  We do it daily, weekly, monthly, and annually. The goal in life is not to go as fast as we can, as hard as we can until we break; then get fixed and go do it all over again.  The goal is to live well every single day, over time to grow the kind of life that enables us to go through the floods of life (and there will be more) with strength, dignity, hope, and joy.

Bottom line is, Ladies and Gentlemen, as much as we don’t want to hear it here in Nashville, it will rain again.  And for you, if it’s not rain, it’ll be a mother-in-law, a loss of a job, discovery of cancer, or some other stressor.

You need to manage your stress and turn it to your favor, or you can let it manage you, and rob you of everything life has to offer.

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