The Stress Test

The Stress Test (1,258)

September 3, 2011

She contacted me, requesting to be a friend of mine on Facebook. I had to pause for a long time to remember who she was since it had been nearly thirty years since our last encounter. I was a bit bewildered by her request since thirty years ago, when we walked the same turf, she didn’t particularly care for me. She was a very religious person, who straightened an already narrow path and was a bit disgruntled with some of my more expansive interpretations of God’s mind. Bluntly, she considered me to be a bit of a heretic. So I wondered why she selected to become my friend at this point in her journey.

I agreed to include her on Facebook (since I really don’t pay that much attention to it anyway…) She immediately sent me a note, telling me that she had suffered a stroke two and a half years ago and that her brother, also an acquaintance of mine, had experienced similar difficulties. She also informed me that those faithful adherents to her particular rendition of the gospel that cloister in her conclave were prophesying that she was going to get much better, and return to normalcy.

When I finished reading the message, I started to think about the paths we choose. You see, I am a fat man, and certainly, at my age, would be considered by most individuals to be a prime candidate for a stroke of my own. Who knows? Maybe tomorrow. But not today.

It isn’t that I’m the picture of health. It isn’t that I’ve taken excellent care of myself, eliminating all the hazards to the human heart and brain. So what is my secret? I just don’t believe in stress.

This is also why I don’t believe in religion—because I don’t think standing faithful to a code of Biblical expectations really keeps folks from stress. No, stress manifests itself in three areas: (1) money, (2) trials and tribulations, and (3) enemies. And if you don’t have the correct perspective on this trio of adversities, you will quickly fall back into the same pattern as everyone else and therefore receive the same results. Because most people are frightened to death of poverty, resentful of trials and tribulations and distracted by their enemies. The result is stress.

Here’s the key—I don’t just believe in God. On the other hand, there are some people who believe in God as some sort of universal creator or cosmic force—and that’s about it for them. Secondly, I haven’t just accepted Jesus “as my personal savior.” No. Instead, I find that the quality of a Jesonian experience is acquired through the words Jesus spoke and the philosophy he left behind—which by the grace of God I am trying to incorporate and make my own.

But finally, I also do one other thing that lots of other believing types seem to either ignore or avoid. I honor nature. I respect science; I think mathematics works. I would be part of the horde which contends that humans are supposed to discover new ways to do new things.

Because just believing in God may occasionally leave you in awe of a sunset or sunrise, but perplex you as to why this force has any relevance in your own life. And “accepting Jesus as a savior” may have some heavenly implications, but without infusing the body of his work and the essence of his mindset into your daily walk, you will find yourself a bit orphaned on earth. And certainly, failing to admire and give homage to nature is denying some of God’s best endeavors.

So I don’t believe in stress.

When it comes to money, I follow the philosophy of “take no thought for what you shall eat or drink because God know you have need of this and will provide you opportunity to earn your way.”

Concerning trials and tribulations, they are such sporadic occurrences that when they do pop up, I choose to “be of good cheer” about them, because they are just as likely to dissipate or disappear by the end of the day.

And, as regarding enemies, I find the best way to get even is to love them because of course, the last thing in the world they would expect is a big dose of my affection.

I realized that my old friend—who is really just a passing shadow, not even an acquaintance—had reaped the benefits of her own philosophy and allowed stress to enter her life and affect her well-being. I’m not better than her. God knows, she supersedes me in many realms.

I just don’t do stress.

And the reason I don’t is because I remain steadfast to the real trinity:

· God, who is my Father and creator

· Jesus, who is my elder brother and example; and

· Nature, who is my mother and teacher.

Once you find your peace with all three of these entities, stress seems unnecessary.

I will continue to communicate with my old friend because who knows? Maybe I can help her remove some of the angst from her life. Yes, I will stay in contact with heras long as my heretical ways don’t begin to cause her more stress.


Published in: on September 4, 2011 at 1:02 am  Leave a Comment  

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