Thursday, February 23, 2017

A SIMPLE FIX

Life is fraught with problems and challenges. It is a part of the package. This is true for all—liberal or conservative; believer or pre-believer; sinner or saint; saved or unsaved; righteous or unrighteous; religious or irreligious; ascetic or hedonist; rich or poor; black, white, or other.


There are the daily challenges of survival that we all must face, albeit at differing levels of complexity.

  • What to wear
  • What to eat
  • Where to go
  • What to say
  • How to act
Each of us handle all these things differently, according to our personality and skill level. Some seem to navigate through life without so much as a bump in the road while others fear getting out of bed to face another day—and all levels in between.

Stress.

Such a common word.
  • Don't stress about it.
  • I'm stressed out
Hans Selye, the father of the recognition of stress in our lives, proposed many theories about how the body responds to stressors. Some of these have been proven to be false, but he laid the groundwork for much research and deeper understanding of this phenomenon and its effects.

We have understanding about the major causes of stress. There are lists of the "100 Top Stressors," or stressful jobs, or other stressful situations. Two psychiatrists, Thomas Holmes and Richard Rahe developed a "stress scale" showing a possible link between life events and illness.

Research has continued in the decades since and more is being learned—there is a definite correlation between stress and illness. This doesn't mean that all illness comes from stress. It does, however, indicate that continued stress can lead to a lack of wellness within the body.

That lack of wellness can manifest itself in the physical, emotional, mental, or spiritual realms of the being. Often, more than one area is affected by continual stress and strain. It should also be noted that not all diseases, therefore, can be fixed with a pill. Symptoms may be masked by a drug, but a cure may require another route. This is true for each of the areas previously mentioned. 

Our human tendency to box things in and develop a formula for something would lead us to believe that we can accurately predict the health of someone by the amount of stress in their life.

Of course, this is ridiculous in the extreme. Different people handle things differently.

For instance, in some cultures death is seen as a normal part of life, while in our western culture it is feared. People from either of these cultures will look at the death of a family member differently. They will view their own mortality differently, one stressing over its inevitability with the other accepting the same.

Accepting the inevitable is certainly a step in the right direction for not allowing stress to work its ill effects on our body.

A popular bumper sticker from a few years back stated it well—
Shift Happens

Byron Katie, in her book "Loving What Is," proposes that our suffering is in direct proportion to how much we argue with what is.

Much of our stress comes from this principle. We simply do not know how to accept that which we cannot change, even though most of you reading this article have prayed at least the first part of the Serenity Prayer.

God grant me the serenity 
To accept the things I cannot change; 
Courage to change the things I can; 
And wisdom to know the difference. 

There is more to this prayer attributed to Reinhold Neibuhr that speaks to the entire process of gaining that serenity.

Living one day at a time; 
Enjoying one moment at a time; 
Accepting hardships as the pathway to peace; 
Taking, as He did, this sinful world 
As it is, not as I would have it; 
Trusting that He will make all things right 
If I surrender to His Will; 
So that I may be reasonably happy in this life 
And supremely happy with Him 
Forever and ever in the next. 

It is this second stanza that is key for Christians, for it contains thoughts taken straight from Scripture—and therein lies the key to the Simple Fix.

I propose the Simple Fix as something we can all use to alleviate the stress of living in our modern society with its depression, fibromyalgia, and other unnamed unknowns of affliction.

This Fix has been available for millennia, and has been used successfully by many. However, it is still relatively unknown to the masses today. It is unknown and unused, and when revealed it is usually relegated to the stories associated with snake oil.

The Simple Fix is so powerful that multiple entities wage war against it with false accusations and hypothetical situations designed to move those who might be willing to give it a try into a place of rejecting the cure. Few people are willing to be marginalized in society as one who is ignorantly following an old wives fable. Perceived sophistication is more to be desired than any experience with truth and reality that might upset the virtual reality of a fantasy world.

Yet, the power of the Fix remains. Undaunted by rejection and unused by those for whom it was designed, it continues to issue its call to any who would dare to try its efficacy.

However, the side effects of this miracle cure must be mentioned, as they will render the user completely at odds with his or her surroundings. The side effects include, but are not limited to: emotional stability, abnormal serenity in the face of chaos, patience with interruptions, tolerance of the oppositionally defiant, and other such characteristics as becomes one who no longer feeds himself on the vanquishing vicissitudes of volatility.

The Simple Fix for many of your problems, dear reader, is to be found by no longer getting your mental diet from the news and views of the world.

Rather, begin feasting on the Word of God. Immerse yourself in it as you would immerse yourself in a hot bath, letting its soothing vapors permeate your entire being until all the stress simply melts away into oblivion.
Oh, the joys of those who do not follow the advice of the wicked, or stand around with sinners, or join in with mockers. But they delight in the law of the LORD, meditating on it day and night. They are like trees planted along the riverbank, bearing fruit each season. Their leaves never wither, and they prosper in all they do. (Psalms 1:1-3 NLT)
Then Jesus said, "Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls. (Matt. 11:28-29 NLT)
Jesus said to the people who believed in him, "You are truly my disciples if you remain faithful to my teachings. And you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free." (John 8:31-32)
For the word of God is alive and powerful. It is sharper than the sharpest two-edged sword, cutting between soul and spirit, between joint and marrow. It exposes our innermost thoughts and desires. (Heb 4:12 NLT)


4 comments:

  1. Hello Pastor Dale Hill. I am also a Pastor from Mumbai, india. I am blessed and feel privilged and honored to get connected with you as well as know you through your profile on the blogger and the blog post. I love getting connected with the people of God around the globe to be encouraged, strengthened and praying for one another. I have been in the Pastoral ministry for last 37 yrs in this great city of Mumbai a city with a great contrast where richest of rich and the poorest of poor live. We reachout to the poorest of poor with the l ove of Christ to bring healing to the brokenhearted. we reachout to the poorest of poor with the love of Christ to bring healing to the brokenhearted. we also encourage young and the adults from the west to come to Mumbai to work with us during their vacation time. we would love to have young people from your church to come to Mumbai to work with us during their vacation time. I am sure they will have a life changing experience. My email id is: dhwankhede(at)gmail(dot)com and my name is Diwakar Wankhede. Looking forward to hear from you very soon. God's richest blessings on you, your family and friends. Also wishing you a blessed and a Christ centered restof the year 2017.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you for your comment, Diwakar. May the Lord bless you as you continue to seek His face and do His work in Mumbai.

      Delete
  2. I am sorry I just forget to comment on your post. The post is very encouraging and spirit lifting. I am truly blessed by it.
    Pastor Diwakar from MUMBAI, India

    ReplyDelete
  3. I am sorry I just forget to comment on your post. The post is very encouraging and spirit lifting. I am truly blessed by it.
    Pastor Diwakar from MUMBAI, India

    ReplyDelete

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