Good Stress

Slaying, Or Taming The Dragon Of Stress

“The kids are going back to school tomorrow, and their stress usually wears off after a couple of weeks,” I told Ed when he called yesterday which was Labor Day. It may take a few days to sort out bus pick up times, who has the right lunch pail, and a new teacher who may need taming or slaying with good behavior for at least a week. The stress of starting back to school for students generally changes to ordinary routines quickly.

Ed was quick to say that when he has retired like me the only stress, that he will have will be pulling fish into his boat. He assured me that it would be real grief to him if a fish gets away. I reminded him that if he is curling then, he will be distressed if his rock has a mind of its own and goes through the house.

Ed is sure that all his stress in retirement will be straightforward little hassles. He believes stress comes when you can’t get all your work completed. When you are retired, he thinks you can’t be anxious about work because you’re not working, so there is no stress in finishing what you haven’t started.

It seems as we look around that others may have no need to get stressed, but when we see a young child throwing a tantrum, we know it can cause anyone stress. Anxiety can find folks at any stage or place in life. No one stays peaceful all the time. School and work cause folks stress, but also the chance to follow routines that give life meaning. Often, folks that dream of and wait for retirement find themselves once retired still saying as when they worked, “I’m in a mess, I’m under stress and holding it together, less and less. I’m stressed.” (Adrian Plass)

Some say stress is both good and bad. To jump out of an airplane would be bad stress for me because I am a coward even on a roof. Why jump from the sky when my knees already give me grief? The way I do things, I would get entangled in the parachute and land on my head. Jumping out of an airplane could be good stress for those wanting to experience the thrill of falling and landing safely with a parachute. To me, I have bad stress when my car goes from normal to engine light alert. The garage man sees my worry as good stress for him.

Peter Marshall said, “When we long for life without difficulties (stress) we need to remind ourselves that oaks grow strong in contrary winds, and diamonds develop under pressure.”  The Bible confirms to us that our salvation was accomplished by

a life and death pressure upon Jesus Christ. Jesus was under great grief for all people have sinned and do sin, and fall short of the glory of God. Without intervention, no one could be saved. Jesus, the Son of God, became our rescuer by being perfect in our place. He was sinless on our behalf, and God presented him as a sacrifice of atonement on the cross through faith in his blood. The stress of sin and death are gone through faith in Christ.

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