I don’t know if it’s true that our current time in history is more stressful than previous times, but I do know that people are indeed stressed - children who lack down time and who know the pressure of competing in sports or academically, or adults faced with schedules, deadlines, quotas and goals. How do we maintain our sanity, our humanity in the pressure cooker existence that we call life today? If Jesus were here today in a way that we could see him, hear him, what would he say to the harried executive, the retired worker, the anxious single parent, the worried middle income family, the senior on a fixed income, the discouraged welfare recipient, the externally confident but inwardly quaking young adult, anyone who feels trapped by circumstances?
You are good, he would tell us, and your life is good. Believe it and don’t try so hard to be other than who you are. Jesus, ever sensitive to the moment, would encourage us to live the Beatitudes found in Matthew 5 (How happy, How mature are we when…) He might roll out the implications of the Beatitudes in simples ways, saying to us: build into your daily living
a time to play without having to win the game
a time to do things without having to perform
a time to be without having every modern gadget
a time to be alone without being lonely
a time to encourage others to be creative without being productive
a time to dig in the garden or dig out the guitar, piano books, paints and needlework
a time to treasure being loose without checking at our watch
a time to remember the joyfulness of the loved one who has just died and imitate it
a time to put the difficulties of the recent past or the anticipated future under the perspective of the wide blue sky
a time to belly laugh at something really funny
a time to visit good friends and be real together.
That’s what Jesus might say. After all, these humanizing experiences are also of God.
Summer is coming – a time to unwind, revisit joy, perspective and meaning, to discover that less can be more. Disarm stress, and put it in its place.
~ Sister Joan Sobala