I am an early riser. I get a lot done in the morning before I even go to work. One thing I frequently do when I ride my stationary bike is listen to podcasts–yes, podcasts–(thank you, daughter #1). I usually listen to sermons and sometimes Joyce Meyer.
Joyce is no Episcopalian and she is very down-to-earth in her interpretation of scripture. I like her a lot. She says things like, “Wherever you go for the rest of your life, there you are. Learn to love yourself,” which is not unlike something Emerson said way back when.
Here is her advice on how to reduce stress:
- Trust yourself and everything to God…. leave it and let it go and give it to God.
- Pray…God will not necessarily get rid of our problems, but he strengthens us and enables us to endure them.
- Know when to be quiet. You don’t have to convince people you are a good person. Think of Jesus before Pilate: “Jesus made no reply”.
Stress, she says, is what is going on inside us, not what is going on around us.
She is so right. There is nothing new here, but Joyce knows it is worth repeating over and over because that is the only way to get through to people. She knows too that usually there is no bolt-out-of-the-blue solution/cure for stressed out modern people. It takes work and time and practice. It takes a relationship with God.
I also like The Very Rev. Dr. Paul F. M. Zahl, who is a retired Episcopal priest. He formerly was rector of All Saints Episcopal Church in Chevy Chase, MD, and dean and president of Trinity Episcopal School for Ministry, Ambridge, PA. He is a lot more intellectual than Joyce Meyer, but I can still relate to him. He says things like:
But there is one risky question. It is the question, “How can I be justified?” This question has been asked by persons as diverse as St. Augustine in the Fourth Century, Martin Luther in the Sixteenth Century, and Sam Pekinpah the film director, in our own time. Pekinpah, by the way, said that the single question he pondered day and night his entire life was, How can I go down to my house justified?
There is good stuff out there. You just have to keep looking.
Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth, for you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God.
Think of Him often, adore him continually, live and die with Him; that is the glorious business of a Christian; in a word, it is our calling; if we do not know that calling we must learn it.
(The painting is “Interior, Woman at a Bureau” by William Smith Anderson (Scottish, 1878-1929)