Does it seem to you that everyone is more tired than they used to be? Maybe this is just the perception one who is looking through an aging lens, but it might be based on some growing realities in our culture.
I imagine that people were more physically tired 100 years ago after a long day of farming than they might be today after a day at the office. However, there are far more “stressors” in life now than there were many (or even a few) years ago. Stress itself is not necessarily a bad thing; some stress can actually produce good results in our bodies, emotions and spirits. In 1975 Hans Seyle divided stress into two categories, “Eustress” (meaning positive stress) and “Distress” (meaning negative stress). Some kinds of stress can be challenging and enhancing or strength-building – This is Eustress. Yet, persistent, unresolved stress may lead to anxiety, withdrawal or depression – This is Distress. It is important to recognize the “Distressors” in our lives, and do what we can to address or adapt positively to them.
Most of us are aware that our lives are filled with measures of stress and that unaddressed stress can be very wearing to our physical and emotional systems. Rather than facing these influences head on, however, we may be tempted to avoid all kinds stress, and eventually to try to avoid everything that even requires work or energy. This is a very unhealthy response and path of life, but all too common in our country today.
Hard work is a good thing. “Hard work brings a profit, but mere talk leads only to poverty.” (Proverbs 14:23) We are encouraged to respect those who work hard among us. (1 Thessalonians 5:12) As a matter of fact, Adam and Eve were created to work before sin entered the world, and we will be working in heaven.
Work is good, but work without a sense of purpose, is very draining. At best it is hard to sustain, and at worst it is a playground for “Distress.” “Where there is no revelation (or sense of vision or inspiration), the people cast of restraint.(Proverbs 29:18) When our work is not tied to hope or to a clear positive result, we easily become wearied and lose reason to discipline our lives.
A remedy for the tiredness of our day is not necessarily more vacations or less work, but to tie our work to love – love for God and love for people. A man in love is willing to work to please the one he loves. When God commands His people to love the Lord God with all their heart, mind soul and strength, He is highlighting the relationship between love and healthy work. “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord …” (Colossians 3:23) Are you inspired to perspire – are you in love with God and willing to work hard in response to His leading as an expression of that love? Can others see how your inspiration and perspiration are tied together in love and integrity?
Inspired to work with you,