Stress-less Living

Terry Walton


I Was Thinking…

Have you been under ‘stress’ lately?  According to CNN Chief Medical Correspondent and practicing Atlanta neurosurgeon, Sanjay Gupta, “When things are more nebulous and I don’t know what is happening, that’s more stressful.”  Is there is any ‘stress’ in your life these days?

Americans in the 1960’s had some of the longest lifespans on Earth.  Now among developed countries, the United States is scraping bottom.  Dr. Gupta suggests there are many reasons: “a mélange of income inequality, the fraying social fabric, despair, lack of control and dashed expectations.  The recent University admissions scandal only amplifies what is going on”, he said.  “This type of glaring inequality, so in your face, tends to be very stressful for society.”

“For African-Americans, it’s a chronic state of stress”, explained Charles E. Moore, Chief of Surgery at Grady Hospital.  “For a certain white population, it’s a new issue.  The white working class has not seen that systematic type of oppression.”  Dr. Moore noted a 12-year life expectancy gap between the poorest and richest zip codes in Atlanta. (AJC, March 25, 2019)

It was the Apostle Paul who wrote to the young Christians in Rome that the marks of a true Christian are “Let love be genuine; hate what is evil, hold fast to what is good…Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep.” (Romans 12:9 & 15) 

It seems as times we have become an insular people.  As long as me and mine are fine…then others are really of no concern to me.  We are tricked into believing that this is the American dream.  When in reality, it is the source of our stress and potential demise.  When we cease to ‘love our neighbor as ourselves’ we have begun a downward spiral of placing ourselves as an idol unto ourselves.  Lord, have mercy on us.

It was Jesus who was recorded by Luke to have said “Give and it will be given to you.  A good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, will be put into your lap; for the measure you give will be the measure you get back.” (Luke 6:38) I’m thinking Jesus was on to something…Maybe Jesus knows how we can disengage our stress, both individually and in society.  Generous empathy may be the clue.

Imagine with me a world where we truly cared for everyone.  Everyone caring for everyone.  And every opportunity was an opportunity to be genuinely compassionate was embraced with tangible response.  What a world it would be!

But I warn us…this kind of radical thinking is what put Jesus on the cross.  Others have called it ‘Radical Discipleship’.  Others have coined its ‘WWJD’.  I’m simply asking “Is there any stress in our lives?  Could it be shortening our life-span?”  There may be a way to live a better life.

Give and it shall be given back…I’m just saying

Always Thinking,


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