Monday, April 26, 2010

what I'm reading: busyness and stress from Tim Chester's The Busy Christian's Guide to Busyness

Last week I wrote about busyness, time and urgency. Much of what I said was based on Tim Chester's wise words in The Busy Christian's Guide to Busyness.

I love what Chester says in this quote, about about what happens when we try to do more (maybe just a little more!) than we can.

God doesn't make mistakes. Twenty-four-hour days were part of the world God declared very good. The problem is not that there isn't enough time ... The problem is we're trying to do too much. We haven't come to terms with the fact that we are finite and limited.

People do not feel stressed simply because they have lot on. Most of us enjoy doing lots of things. We only feel busy when we try to do ... that little bit more than is possible. ... What happens when we find ourselves trying to do more than we can? We not only get stressed about the extra demands that have tipped us over. We feel stressed about everything we have to do.

I remember talking to a young woman who felt her whole life was full of stress. 'I feel like running away,' she told me. Other people looking on might have wondered what the problem was. Her life wasn't crammed with activities. But it only took a few things beyond what she could cope with to make her feel everything was impossible. ...

We need to learn that we have limitations and not to be afraid to admit these to ourselves or others. Some of these limitations are to do with time, others are to do with our physical and emotional capacity. ...

So here's a foundational truth for what follows: God does not expect me to do more than I can. ...

From Tim Chester The Busy Christian's Guide to Busyness pp. 77-79 (I've changed the order of the last two paragraphs).

image is by out_of_rhythm from flickr

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