Last week, I ended my column with a quotation from James Moore's book, "Is There Life After Stress?"
"Few people work themselves into a nervous breakdown, but many worry themselves into one."
Today, let me remind you that there is good stress, called "eustress," and bad stress, called "distress." Eustress gets us up and going every morning and gets us to work on time. I've often thought that, without a deadline, I might procrastinate about getting this article in on time. It's amazing, but my motivation kicks into gear at "crunch time."
Recently, I reread the story of a mother who came in for the third time to get her son out of bed. Finally, she yanked the covers back and, in a commanding voice, said: "Get up now or you'll be late for Sunday School and church." Sleepily, he replied, "Give me three good reasons why I should go."
She said, "First, it's Sunday; second, you're 42 years old; and third, you are the minister."
That pastor needed a little eustress.
Distress occurs when our systems are on overload with pressures. In Arthur Sueltz's book, "Life in Close Quarters," he tells of a 6-year-old boy who was taken to a doctor's crowded office. As they waited to be called in, the child asked his mother a series of questions like "Why is grass green?" "Why is the sky blue?" "Why do we have skin?" Others in the room were amazed at how the mother answered each one carefully and patiently.
Then the little boy got around to God. "Why doesn't God get tired and quit?" The mother took a moment to collect her thoughts and said, "God doesn't get tired because God is love, and love doesn't get tired."
That the kind of faithful love we can count on when we are stretched beyond our own limits. We don't have to endure stress, but with the help of Christ, we can live with it. Thus, we glorify God and bless others.
Contact Nell Mohney at firstname.lastname@example.org.