Christian Life 

Priorities, busyness and stress reduction

Jesus had no more hours in a day than we do, yet 'fitting it all in' is a constant challenge. Some thoughts on how to avoid being run off our feet or ending up flat on our backs.

first published 20/04/09

Little Boy and dog in prayer

Ways to reduce stress....

A Christians Together site member forwarded the following list which he had receceived from a friend. (It is reproduced below in slightly modified form (and may benefit from further inputs).
Much of the list comprises that which would be found in any secular advice; but that doesn't mean that it is not helpful.

First read the list below and then go to the story about -

The Mayonaise Jar and the 2 Cups of Coffee

'Never borrow from the future. If you worry about what may happen tomorrow and it doesn't happen, you have worried in vain. Even if it does happen, you have to worry twice.'

1. Pray; and then pray again.

2. Go to bed on time.

3. Get up on time so you can start the day unrushed.

4. Say 'No' to projects that won't fit into your time schedule or that will compromise your mental health. (If they don't fit, they are probably not in God's will for you.)

5. Delegate tasks to others who are capable of performing them; and it will help them grow.

6. Simplify and unclutter your life.

7. Less is more. (Although one is often not enough, two are often too many.)

8. Allow extra time to do things and to get to places. (In life's journey don't forget to stop and smell the roses.)

9. Pace yourself. Spread out big changes and difficult projects over time; don't lump the hard things all together. Give yourself achievable targets; and rewards for completing difficult or unpleasant tasks.

10. Take one day at a time.

11. Separate worries from concerns. If a situation is a concern, find out what God would have you do and let go of the anxiety. If you can't do anything about a situation, forget it.

12. Live within your budget; avoid getting into debt.

13. Have backups; an extra car key in your wallet, an extra house key buried in the garden, extra stamps, etc. (And with regards vital information stored on your computer, 'backups' are also essential.)

14. K.M.S. (Keep Mouth Shut). This single piece of advice can prevent an enormous amount of trouble (cf Job's 'comforters').

15. Do something for the 'child' in you. (Adults are just little people in big bodies.)

16. Carry a Bible (or at least a book) with you to read while waiting in the queue; or use the time to pray.

17. Get enough rest.

18. Eat sensibly.

19. Get organised so everything has its place.

20. Listen to a tape while driving that can help improve your quality of life.

21. Write down thoughts and inspirations.

22. Every day, find time to be alone; and especially alone with God.

23. Having problems? Talk to God on the spot. Try to nip small problems in the bud. Don't wait until it's time to go to bed to try and pray.

24. Make friends.

25. Keep a folder of favorite scriptures on hand.

26. Remember that the shortest bridge between despair and hope is often a good 'Thank you Jesus.'

27. Laugh.

28. Laugh some more!

29. Take your work seriously, but not yourself at all.

30. Develop a forgiving attitude (most people are doing the best they can).

31. Be kind to unkind people (they probably need it the most).

32. Sit on your ego.

33. Talk less; listen more.

34. Slow down. (God made us human beings, not human doings.)

35. Remind yourself that you are not the general manager of the universe.

36. Every night before bed, think of one thing you're grateful for that you've never been grateful for before.

37..... What works for you? See Footnote.


'If God is for us, who can be against us?' (Romans 8:31)

The Bible also advises:

"Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.
And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus". Phillipians 4:6-7

The Mayonnaise Jar and 2 Cups of Coffee

Coffee and mayonnaiseA professor stood before his philosophy class and had some items in front of him. As the class began, and without speaking, he picked up a very large and empty mayonnaise jar, and proceeded to fill it with golf balls.

He then asked the students if the jar was full. They agreed that it was. The professor then picked up a box of pebbles and poured them into the jar. He shook the jar lightly. The pebbles rolled into the open areas between the golf balls. He then asked the students again if the jar was full. They agreed it was.

The professor next picked up a box of sand and poured it into the jar. Of course, the sand filled up everything else. He asked once more! if the jar was full. The students responded with an unanimous "Yes." The professor then produced two cups of coffee from under the table and poured the entire contents into the jar effectively filling the empty space between the sand. The students laughed.

"Now," said the professor as the laughter subsided, "I want you to recognize that this jar represents your life.

The golf balls are the important things--your family, your children, your health, your friends and your favourite passions---and if everything else was lost and only they remained, your life would still be full. The pebbles are the other things that matter like your job, your house and your car. The sand is everything else---the small stuff.

First things first

"If you put the sand into the jar first," he continued, "there is no room for the pebbles or the golf balls. The same goes for life. If you spend all your time and energy on the small stuff you will never have room for the things that are important to you. "Pay attention to the things that are critical to your happiness.

Play with your children. Take time to get medical checkups. Take your spouse out to dinner. Play another 18 holes. There will always be time to clean the house and fix the mower. Take care of the 'golf balls' first---the things that really matter.

Set your priorities. The rest is just 'sand'."

One of the students raised her hand and inquired what the coffee represented. The professor smiled. "I'm glad you asked. It just goes to show you that no matter how full your life may seem, there's always room for a cup of coffee with a friend."

See article R U 2 bi C 2

Christians Together, 03/03/2011

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RF (Guest) 04/03/2011 10:26
Almost all of this is excellent advice however number 30 does not fit absolutely perfectly with the notion of sin.

Peter, armed with the items you have mentioned Jesus would have had a much more efficient way of conversing/converting people; it throws up a question about his timing of entering the world and another one about his decision to make his appearance in some comparatively obscure part of the world.

Yes, many people are doing the best they can; many are not lost, broken, sinful and rebellious. I know that the church goes after those that it perceives to be so.
Andrea (Guest) 04/03/2011 11:40

You seem to like Bible references to back up what we say so:

"all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God" (Romand 3:23)
Peter Carr 04/03/2011 16:39
RF said, "Yes, many people are doing the best they can; many are not lost, broken, sinful and rebellious. I know that the church goes after those that it perceives to be so."

Well, there is man's opinion, and then there is God's...

..."And the glory of the LORD will be revealed,
and all mankind together will see it.
For the mouth of the LORD has spoken.”

A voice says, “Cry out.”
And I said, “What shall I cry?”

“All men are like grass,
and all their glory is like the flowers of the field.
The grass withers and the flowers fall," (Isa 40: 5 - 7)

RF (Guest) 04/03/2011 18:04
Well I have not sinned today Andrea - still there are 5 hours and 57 minutes remaining so there is still time.
Peter Carr 04/03/2011 18:32
RF, no offence but it really depends on the definition of sin, not ours but God's;

Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.” (Matt 22: 38ff.)

Have you loved your Creator today? If not then you have sinned!!

John Parker (Guest) 04/03/2011 19:44
RF - Have you never been angry?
RF (Guest) 04/03/2011 20:37
John I have been angry but not today.

Peter you are entitled to your opinion about religion but I do not agree with it. I wonder whether you have done any research into religion and philosophy other than read the bible. You appear to believe the bible word for word; if that is do it must give you a headache owing to its frequent contradictions and seemingly cruel god.The Old Testament god is positively evil.

Peter I think some church leaders are letting believers down by feeding fundamentalist material whilst at the same time not believing it themselves and that is intellectually dishonest.
Martin Lisemore 04/03/2011 23:30
Roland, intellectual dishonesty is an historic hallmark of most of the institutional churches - it's actually dishonesty before God! But there are exceptions, and I believe Peter is an intellectually honest, well-read and a Godly man. A man who has met the risen Christ. I for one thank God for him on this forum. I know we need so many more like him.

Yes, here I am agreeing with you, at least in part. Yep, you read it here first! (That's a quote.)

Charles Darwin was honest in saying his Evolution of the Species was only a theory. It's his followers who have made it a tenet of their faith, indeed built a Godless theology on it. But that's their problem. The God of Israel has provided information which is not theoretical, and neither is it contradictory. He did it and wrote the book.

If you have read it cover to cover, and not skipsville, you will see there are no contradictions, it explains itself, and, most of important, it leads the person to Christ our Saviour.

In a much earlier post last year, you said you had read bits of the Bible. I ask you, does that qualify you to say it is contradictory? I don't think so. Perhaps you are in an uneven battle here.

The same applies to your statement about a cruel God. I don't think you are qualified to make that statement, based on your prior post. Perhaps an understanding of this God, through the Bible, would serve you well to understand why He works as He does.

Methinks your bitterness towards a denominational church has spilled over into life, and towards God. Not intellectually honest, is it?
Peter Carr 05/03/2011 09:47
RF asks, "Peter you are entitled to your opinion about religion but I do not agree with it. I wonder whether you have done any research into religion and philosophy other than read the bible."

Firstly, my experince is that relationship is to be preferred and sought more than religion. Religion is manmade, relationship with the living and loving God and Creator is God made, and is only available on God's terms, which are seen clearly in Jn 3: 16 - 18

Secondly, I have a degree in Theology which covers many disciplines.

RF (Guest) 05/03/2011 12:39
ML I need to take the gloves off a bit. You are showing yourself up by misunderstanding the use of theory concerning evolution; this is despite me hinting at such confusion earlier. Please investigate this for yourself. The editor interjects on this site from time to time yet for the moment remains silent about this issue.He knows what I am referring to and perhaps he can help you understand the use of theory.

I am in dispute with you regarding contradictions. They are well known and clearly you have not bothered to look into it. A quick method is to google bible contradictions and show some patience in locating them. You can cross check examples for yourself. The internet has much truth as well as dross. Go for it.

ML you are making yourself look ill informed regarding the Old Testament god. All open minded scholars [ie scholars!] of repute have time and again given examples of that god's despicable utterances and actions. You disappoint me in suggesting that I cannot judge what is extreme cruelty.

Peter I am not impressed with a degree in theology but will bite my tongue further because I am convinced that you are a most decent man.

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