All Stressed Up and Nowhere To Go!
"Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow, For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away." - James 4:14
Stress is a real thing. It comes when the busyness of life overrides the business of life. The demands on the schedule become greater than the fuel in the tank. Many times, we find ourselves running on fumes, giving out our leftovers, and feeling completely depleted and sorrowful because we are unable to accomplish everything we wanted to get done.
Enter Covid-19. How many of us are now realizing that the things which were stressing us out may not have been as important as we imagined? Meetings are being done differently, communication with people matters much more than processes, programs, and plans. That extra thirty minutes with the family to play that board game you promised to play is now available. Taking the walk with family or friends can happen much easier now. Most of us have discovered that we have been living pretty stressful lives that have robbed us of the most important things. This crisis has forced us to throw our calendars to the wind because we have no idea what the next day, week, or month will look like! We are being forced to live one day at a time!
Many times we are grasping to accomplish the next project, achieve the next level, get the next task completed, and make our mark on the world around us. During this process we forget the most important people and things in life. God did not design us to live five months ahead of schedule, He sovereignly designed us to live One Day At A Time. The manna came to the children of Israel one day at a time. Jesus taught us to pray for our Daily Bread. James reminds us that is foolish to plan your entire life out without considering Today as the greatest gift. Most Americans are all stressed up with nowhere to go!
I heard the story years ago of a Russian land buyer named Pahom who loved to purchase huge tracts of land for future development. One day he stumbled upon the most beautiful land he had ever seen. The ground was rich and fertile and he instantly knew he wanted it! He approached the chief of the village and asked him how much land he would sell to him and for what price. The chief told him that he could begin at sunrise and walk until sunset, however many acres he walked he could purchase at a bargain price. The only condition was he must return before the sun would set. Pahom was so excited that he could not sleep the night before he would walk the land.
The next morning came and he immediately began to walk so briskly that he was swallowing up acres by the hour. As the day continued on, he refused to eat, rest, or even take a small break. He wanted the land so desperately that he pushed himself to a point of near physical exhaustion. As the day closed, he began to sprint back to the hill where the chief was waiting. He knew he had to beat the sunset or he would forfeit this incredible opportunity. He sprinted up the hill to an applauding audience and collapsed in front of the chief. The chief began to praise him when all of the sudden Pahom's heart gave out and he died instantly. The chief shook his head slowly in sadness and stated: "If he would have only walked today's acres instead of today and tomorrows he would have enjoyed this beautiful land forever."
God is teaching us through this crisis that "sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof." Let's not waste this time that God is slowing us down, rather let's each learn to live one day at a time!