It’s The Choices We Make

Monday Minute

To say the last several months, even year has been stressful and hectic is an understatement. Personal trials and major life events have kept me on edge. Now it’s all come to an end and life is moving forward at a slower better pace. And this weekend was a long overdue get-away.

In the days leading up to the weekend I had aspirations of hiking as much of Gettysburg as I could, but when Friday arrived and we made the road trip there, those aspirations began to fade. I realized what I wanted AND needed most was a weekend of rest and one with no agenda.

Friday night after we arrived it consisted of pizza delivered to our cottage followed by a session in the massage chair. It’s amazing what happens to muscles that have been in a constant state of stiffness for so long. I suddenly felt muscles go soft I had not known was possible. As for sleep, I think it was more like a comatose state. I don’t recall anything from the time I turned the light out to when I woke up. I hadn’t felt this good and so relaxed in a long time.

The entire weekend from the weather, food, and accommodations was just what I needed. And as the weekend began to wind down I didn’t want it to end. However, I knew it was time to head home and back to the daily routine.

Or did it have to be that way?

I found myself pondering, more like marinating, on what it means to live a quiet life, minding my own business and working with my hands (1 Thess. 4:11) Why do we have to seek a weekend get-away or a vacation to obtain the rest and peace our mind and bodies crave? Isn’t it something we can have on a daily basis? After much thought during our drive home I came to the conclusion it IS possible. How? One simple word…choices. It’s the choices we make that determine our level of stress in life. If we are living with more stress and less peace it’s our own faults because we’re not making the right choices.

We blame stress on everything and everyone but ourselves. The news stresses you out. So stop watching the news. Facebook frustrates you. So stop looking at Facebook. Constant texting bothers you. So stop texting and actually call someone. That person or colleague irritates you. So find new friends. Whatever it is that’s causing you stress and frustration you have the power to stop it.

Stress and anxiety are relieved by removing whatever it is causing it. Unbeknownst to me I realized why I was not feeling tense. A few elements in my daily life were removed on my weekend escape. TV, Facebook and technology. It’s not the first time I’ve come to realize the affects of technology in my life. You’d think I get it by now. But in a world drenched in technology and a job that thrives on it, it’s not easy to escape it. Or is it? It’s not about escaping the stressers in life, but rather learning to manage them through discipline.

This weekend was truly a weekend of being refreshed and recharged. I’ve come home with some new insights as well as reminded of some old. I’m not saying I have the absolute cure and answer to freeing yourself completely from stress and tension. But you can reduce it by eliminating stress factors in your life, learning to say no and developing some new habits and disciplines.

Remember, life is a journey we hike by faith. Have faith in yourself, but more importantly have faith in God to provide you with the tools and the means to live a quiet life (no stress), minding your own business (don’t worry about what others think) and working with your hands (be productive, stop staring at the screen and put the technology down).

As for me I’m going to continue to explore this trail over here to discover what I need to do to reduce stress and tension and live in peace. You’re welcome to join me if you’re looking for the same thing.


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