Is it just me or is there an inordinate amount of overreaction nowadays? Last week I read (in our local sports section) that the wife of a LA Lakers player received a tweet that he hoped their family would be murdered. Why? Because her husband had missed a shot at the end of the game...a basketball game. It's not like the Lakers were doing that well any way, but this kind of reaction is way over the top.
Then there's all the political hype, hyperbole, and party rhetoric, all of which is commented on ad nauseum (that's means way too much, like it's never ending) by the media, pundits (people who make a lot of puns? just kidding), and a vast array of blog posts. I don't even want to go there...is it November yet?
How about driving? It amazes me how easily people get ticked off because you get in their way or don't do what they think you should do. I've seen people gesture (inappropriate kinds) because I or someone else didn't run a red light...because the person behind wanted to get through the intersection! Or then there's showing courtesy and people thinking you're nuts for doing so and getting irritated, like "what's wrong with you, just be rude!" I'm thankful for the considerate drivers, even if they are going kinda slow in my lane ;-)
I don't want to go on with an open-ended rant about all this, but there is a point so let me get there. There are some really serious issues in life that are a whole lot more important than basketball games and opinions. LIfe and death issues. Making it from month to month challenges. Relationships. And, oh yeah, there's your eternal destiny to consider also.
Now I like sports, especially baseball— I'm a die-hard LA Dodgers fan (NL) and also a Tampa Rays fan (AL). I'm a Jaguars fan because I live in Jacksonville now. I like watching the NBA playoffs and NCAA tournament, and have a great appreciation for what the world calls football...soccer. But they're all just games...entertainment...a break in the daily routine, and so on. They're not life and death issues. I like Tim Tebow and other Christian athletes who don't take themselves or their profession too seriously—competitive, yes—life and death, no.
What's going on in your life that stresses you out?
What's so important in your life that you lose your cool, get robbed of peace, or just feel kind of angry or depressed all the time?
What will it take to get you to just "chill out!"?
I realize not all issues and situations in life are simply a matter of "chilling out," but God is there in it all, and He's always available. Many years ago I remember hearing of the value and importance of being thankful, and I've tried to practice it daily and throughout a day. I don't mean quoting corny cliches (actually puns) like, "attitude of gratitude," I mean genuine, heart-felt thanks. Here's one of King David's expressions of thanks—
I will extol you, my God and King, and bless your name forever and ever. Every day I will bless youand praise your name forever and ever. Great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised,and his greatness is unsearchable. (Ps 145:1-3 ESV)
I find when I discipline my mind to be thankful, my heart follows quite willingly. It's a choice I need to make, and those who know me know I can be quick to react (and overreact!) and have strong opinions. As I said, it's a conscious choice I need to make.
Sometimes I need to just go for a walk or bike ride. I'm blessed to live by the beach, and blessed to have so many of my immediate family nearby. Many times I need to take a break and be thankful, get things back into perspective from God's point of view (prayer and worship music help a lot, and reading the Psalms).
What are you thankful for?
What helps you to unwind, chill out, take a break?
If you're not sure or nothing comes to mind, it's time for a change.