Some of my favorite TV shows include The Waltons, Leave it to Beaver, and The Andy Griffith Show.
I am sure a psychologist probably would have a field day analyzing me through the types of TV shows that I like to watch. Regardless of what determination a psychologist might make of my TV choices, I think the reason why I like these shows is because they all represent a simpler time for living.
There were no cell phones or voice mails, no internet, no text messages, instant messages, or twitter messages. Things seemed slower and simpler. The biggest problems that people in these shows had were Aunt Bea’s pickles didn’t taste too good or John Boy couldn’t bring himself to shooting that turkey for dinner.
Things seem different today.
At the time, I am sure that John Boy’s failure to bring home a turkey was a big deal; especially with about eight hungry kids running around the house during the depression. Nonetheless, life then seemed simpler then than it does now.
Now we all live very busy lives. Most people can’t go out and shoot their own food or chop their own wood to heat their house. We generally need to buy everything today. We need to get jobs that pay well enough for us to support ourselves and our families. And between working (sometimes more than one job), taking care of the kids, cleaning the house, running errands, etc. there just seems to be too many things going on at once that we need to take care of.
Think of how many things you need to get done over the next few days. In many cases, that list is going to be quite long. And when you think about the list, it can be somewhat anxiety provoking. “How am I going to get everything done in such a short amount of time,” we say to ourselves.
It can be overwhelming!
While we try to accommodate everything we need to get done, we lose sight of what really should be held most important to us in our lives: God and ourselves.
Taking care of our relationship with God and taking care of ourselves both seem to get pushed to the side. They both end up being pushed off until tomorrow or the next day. And the next day turns into next week and next week turns into… who knows when.
In those old TV shows, not only did living seem simpler but people took time for God and themselves. Sunday was truly a day of rest: you went to church and then relaxed with family and friends. No stores were open. There was no running around to do. How many times did we see Andy sitting on the front porch with his family and Barney after church and Sunday dinner just saying “Hey” to the people who walked by?
We need to make time to nurture ourselves and our relationship with God. And a better relationship with God can help us better nurture ourselves.
Back in the days when the church was first being established and spread, people seemed to have some of the same concerns about providing for themselves as we do today. They got anxious about how they were going to do it all. To those people Matthew offered the following:
But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own. Matthew 6: 33-34
Now I know that taking all day Sunday off from our lives may be somewhat impractical these days but we need to push aside our busy life for a short while and make time for God and ourselves everyday.
A better relationship with God will help us understand that everything that happens is all part of God’s plan for us. If we can have faith that God’s plan for us is truly in our best interest in the long run, that faith can reduce the anxieties that we feel now as we face the daily pressures of our lives. We then nurture ourselves through this reduced anxiety as less anxiety means better heath.
Each day I try to find some time (even if it is for only two or three minutes) to take a deep breath, release all of the stress that has built up, and talk to God. Talking to God has a calming effect on me. I keep in mind the belief that whatever is going on in my life is all part of God’s plan. And if what is going on is part of God’s plan for me, then I try to not get anxious about situations I might find myself in because it is what it is supposed to be.
So take some time out of your day and talk to God for a while and try to release your stresses through the faith that everything that happens is all part of a bigger plan that we might not yet understand.