This Just In: People are Busy and Stressed Out

It’s official, folks. What I’ve been saying for months has recently been confirmed. And George Barna, our beloved Christian statistics and survey guru, is the bearer of the bad news.

You ready?

People are stretched-thin, tired, stressed out, busy, over-worked, over-entertained, unhealthy, under-rested … need I go on?

The report &emdash; “Americans Just Want a Good Night’s Sleep” &emdash; can be read in its entirety here. Here is an especially telling paragraph from Barna’s findings, however:

Among the most common complaints people have are the struggle to cope with the busyness of their lives, the pressure of family and job responsibilities, and their seemingly unquenchable thirst to be entertained,” commented George Barna. “It’s interesting that people who have young children in their home were no more likely to want a good rest than were people without children in the house. The issue is not the presence or absence of children; it’s how we choose to fill our schedule, the development and implementation of boundaries in our lives, and our willingness to forego some pleasures in favor of physical and mental health. We’re not busy because somebody makes us busy and stressed; we’re that way because we have not learned to say ‘no’ to appealing opportunities, or to accept the notion that we do not need every experience that’s accessible. We voluntarily exhaust ourselves and then wonder why life doesn’t seem satisfying. This is one reason why God instituted a day of rest, rather than a day for catching up or gorging on pleasurable activities.

At the risk of sounding like a broken record (I’m not apologizing for this … God sounds like a broken record throughout Scriptures on this subject), we need to slow down. This is exactly what I believe “loving yourself” includes. Until we “love ourselves” enough to assume a more sane pace of life, how can we ever model the life of a Christ-follower whose “yoke is easy and burden light”?

What is “good news” (gospel) about a life stretched thin so much by activities at church, in school, in the community, with sports, etc., that it affects the wellness of Christians? That it affects the ability of the Christian to hear from the Holy Spirit and worship, the basic activities of our faith?

I’d love to hear from many of you on this subject, as well as your response to Barna’s findings. Blessings, and slowness, today.

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