STRESS MANAGEMENT

Saturday, 11th Week in Ordinary Time           

            “Do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink, or about your body, what you will wear.”

            We put a terrible burden upon ourselves when we cannot relax and trust in God. A word that is often used in our society is not worry, but its sister emotion, stress. A lecturer was explaining stress management to an audience. He raised a glass of water and asked, “How heavy is this glass of water?” Answers called ranged from 10oz to 16 oz. The lecturer replied, “The absolute weight doesn’t matter. It depends on how long you try to hold it.” “If I hold it for a minute, that not a problem. If I hold it for an hour, I’ll have an ache in my right arm. If I hold it for a day, you’ll have to call an ambulance.” “In each case, it’s the same weight, but the longer I hold it, the heavier it becomes.”

            He continued, “And that’s the way it is with stress management.” “If we carry our burdens all the time, sooner or later, as the burden becomes increasingly heavy, we won’t be able to carry on.”

            Again, Jesus says, “Do not worry about your life.” Well, we worry about a lot of things. It may be about our health, security, marriage, family, education, job, business – and, of course about money. Whatever the source, worry is an emotion with which all of us are familiar. And majority of us experience it on a daily basis.

            Looking into our society, studying our culture, scrutinizing our family, and, of course, honestly examining ourselves, is God, in fact, our ultimate concern, our ultimate focus? Is God, in truth and in fact, the center of our life?

            Jesus says, “Is not life more than food and the body more than clothing?” By saying this, Jesus is placing our life – with all our legitimate needs, worries, and concerns – within this much broader context: that life is more than food and the body is more than clothing. This is what the Lord Jesus wants us to realize. The problem is that we become too preoccupied with these things that they become our ultimate concern, ultimate focus.

            What is your life, first and above all? Let me borrow Bishop Robert Barron’s reflection… First and above all, your life is a gift from God. And it is under the loving providence of God. God has made you and me with a definite purpose in mind. And God is nothing but love.

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