Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Finding The Quiet Place in the Midst of Stressful Change

There is a kind of unspoken tension that can be felt everywhere you go these days. It seems like everyone feels stressed, overwhelmed and driven. The hustle to get through the day often ends up with unexpected schedule changes, detours in traffic and for many, an uneasy sense of not getting done all that you had planned. We may begin our day with a check list, but there are variables, like unexpected changes, that frustrate and irritate us. 

Perhaps it is continuous unplanned, out of our control changes, that keep unsettling our lives and act like a flashing yellow light to proceed with caution...a reminder that life is becoming increasingly unpredictable. It may be time to stop, reevaluate our priorities and recheck the road map of our life. Adapting to change and learning to be flexible, works with basic life changes, but continuous change can slowly drain a person of vital coping strength. 

It may be time to pull over, take some time in The Quiet Place and bring a soothing hush to your busy world. When you walk through a quiet forest at sunrise, and smell the fresh dew upon the grass and the heady scent of cedar and fir, you hear the whisper of peace.

The Impact of Continuous Change 

From Chicago to New Deli, or from Auckland to Marseille, we are caught up together in a massive transitional change process these days. It touches all of us in different ways. However, the winds of continuous and life impacting change, lead eventually to burn-out and a progressive sense of apathy.

The Strain of Constant Change is Overwhelming

Adapting to change doesn't seem to be any less stressful whether it is working in jobs that are in federal, state, county, private or non-profit organizations. The constant pressure brought on by unremitting adjustment in the midst of change, the reorganization of priorities and learning new work tasks can be overwhelming. 

This is especially so when there are is a roller coaster of unwanted and unavoidable changes happening in your work life and personal life all at the same time.

The Disappointment of Shattered Dreams

Many find their way into The Quiet Place with hearts that are heavy with the despondency over lost jobs, and homes that have been foreclosed upon. The realization that benefits are not in place to protect one's family, and the burden of financial strain is devastating. Some may feel that God has let them down, and their faith is tottering on the ledge of despair.

Always remember that when it comes to God's attributes and His unending compassion and faithfulness, He is the only constant we will ever have. 

"For I am the Lord and I do not change."Malachi 3:6

It is in The Quiet Place that the weariness and strain of our heavy burdens, and broken dreams, can be lain at the feet of our loving God. The anxiety of the unknown that shadows the pathway of tomorrow is in His sovereign hands. Only He can give us peace. 

We are urged throughout the Scriptures to:"Cast your cares on the Lord and He will sustain you, He will never let the righteous be shaken." Psalm 55:22

The Hebrew word for "cast" is "shalak" and it literally means to throw down, hurl, or to fling away from you. It is insightful to note that the Hebrew word for "cares" is "yehab" and means the burden which is a gift that God has given to you, and His desire is that you will discover that only He can carry it. God sustains and strengthens you from within, while He shoulders the weight of it upon Himself. (See also Matthew 11:28-30 and I Peter 5:7). 

In The Quiet Place we begin to understand that the burdens of life are not there to hurt us, but to deepen our faith and strengthen our trust in God. There is an intimacy that we experience with God in the darkest moments of our  lives, that fills The Quiet Place with His very presence. We are touched by it, and we are never the same.

Families are Rediscovering their Roots
The trans-generational relay race is God's way of making the family a secure support system throughout our lives. From great- grandparents, down to newborns in a family lineage, we can so easily drop the baton of family traditions, memorable events, and slowly lose sight of the most important fabric of any culture...the family.

In some rural regions, the "Nuclear Family" is now returning to a Walton's style "Extended Family," due to the economic restructuring of our World economy. Today many young couples are out of work, large numbers of men and women are returning from tours of duty, and the baby boomer generation is desperately trying to stay employed as they near retirement. With the progressive increase of the  cost of living, there are a lot of people that are starting to consolidate resources and move closer together.

The other day I asked a young man if he knew what Walton's Mountain was and he said, "Isn't that the place where they make that tasty hard caramel candy or somethun?" I think he was thinking of Werther's Original's. He then asked me if I wanted a Jelly Belly and I said, "No thanks, I already have one." What is with these young kids today? Does anyone remember the Walton family?

Large scale sociological change is here. As a society, we will learn from the past or sadly repeat it. The return to an extended family mindset is a good thing  many believe, because we are rediscovering something we cannot afford to lose in life, that wherever we may live on this planet....Making our Journey Mean Something is crucial to all of us.

Take some time out right now and spend it in The Quiet Place.

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