Do you like memes? Most of you may answer “no”, but they’re so widespread. Somebody has to like them. Just like New Kids on the Block. I find that memes are definitely overused, usually dumb, and occasionally dead-on completely right and funny. Some, like the one at the top of this post, are variations on the same theme – a scene from a movie (One-does-not-simply-walk-into-Mordor, anyone?) or the same picture that’s been used countless times before. Since most of us are better at creating the text than actually coming up with something clever to say, the ratio of really good memes to memes that kill brain cells is very, very low. But every once in a while, you come across one that is profound. One that is funny. One that is exactly what you needed at that moment.
In most of the world, it’s already the 3rd of October. This means that there are 75 days until we leave the Bay Area. There is much to do and – well – about 75 days in which to get it all done. Dorine and I came up with an initial plan for it all. Trust me when I say, it’s going to be a busy ten-plus weeks. The task list seems overwhelming.
And then I saw this meme that said, “Stress makes you believe that everything has to happen right now. Faith assures you that everything will happen in God’s timing.” What could I do? I had to take a deep breath, grit my teeth, and admit that maybe once in a while there are good memes out there.
…and of course recognize that it’s true.
Here’s an even better quote, from Matthew 6:27 [NASB]:
And who of you by being worried can add a single hour to his life?
Now, this isn’t saying that we should never experience stress. It doesn’t mean we should just throw a happy face on stressful situations and pretend to be okay. Stress is real and, if my wife the mental health professional can be believed, very destructive. It’s not “wrong” to feel stressed. Our choice as believers is what we are going to do with that stress. Will we take it on ourselves, or will we can, as is discussed in 1 Peter 2, commit ourselves “to God who judges justly”? That’s not a “get out of stress free” card, but it does change our perspective. If I truly believe God will be enough in every situation of life, then I can face stress with a sense of purpose.
Not always easy. Maybe not ever easy. But, as another meme says, “Nothing worth having is easy”. I don’t know that it’s true, since sleep comes very easily most of the time. But since the Christian walk is about learning to entrust ourselves more and more to God’s care, stress would seem to be an integral part of that process.
How about you? What is stressing you out this week?