This summer, I invested in a new fitness watch. One of the things it measures is stress.
It uses a system called heart rate variability. Apparently, when you're in a time of stress, the time between heartbeats is less. When you're at rest or non-stressed, the time between heartbeats is greater.
As I've participated in various activities during the summer and fall, I've noticed some interesting things.
Sitting at my computer and taking care of emails and other work is apparently stressful to me, varying between 60% and 100%. I wouldn't think that sitting at my desk going through email was stressful.
But, sitting down and doing embroidery is apparently un-stressful. The rate drops to below 20%.
I won't disagree; embroidery is indeed my happy place.
Stress affects us all in one way or another.
But Jesus assures us that everything will be OK. In the same section where Jesus teaches the Lord's Prayer, he says:
25 "Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? 26 Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? 27 Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life[e]?
28 "And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. 29 Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. 30 If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith? 31 So do not worry, saying, 'What shall we eat?' or 'What shall we drink?' or 'What shall we wear?' 32 For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. 33 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. 34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own. (Matthew 6:25-34)
We may worry about food. But if we have problems with food, we know there is a food pantry to assist.
We may worry about housing. But if we have problems, there are organizations such as Family Promise to provide shelter.
So even though my watch may say I'm experiencing stress simply by sitting at my desk, I know that I'm fine. I cannot add a single hour to my life by worrying.
- Ann Warner