There is a time for everything. One of those things is to relax. I find when relaxed, I tend to have more clarity of thought and make better decision. I don't relax enough I guess. Ecclesiastes 3 says this:
To everything there is a season, a time for every purpose under heaven.
a time to be born...and a time to die, a time to plant...and a time to pluck
what is planted; a time to kill...and a time to heal, a time to break down...
and a time to build up, a time to weep...and a time to laugh, a time to mourn...
and a time to dance, a time to love...and a time to hate, a time of war...and a
time of peace. Ecc.3:1-4,8 (NKJV)
That simply sums up a lifetime of thoughts, emotions, and events. The fact that I don't relax enough is because my understanding of what relaxation is may be wrong. Relaxing doesn't mean lying around and doing nothing necessarily, though that is stress relieving. Walking can be extremely relaxing to me, as well as reading. However, kicking back and watching a movie can be very stressful. An example is, I watched a movie that was in the comedy catagorie, my favorite type of movie, and that was the sorriest comedy I have ever watched...I was stressed from it's inane stupidity. I discovered that anything I do with expectation, is not relaxing. When I have no pre-conceived notion of results from my actions, I relax. I think I'm starting to get it.
So a mother is watching her son eat oatmeal, her son's favorite cereal. She informs him that he should eat the oatmeal, that he already loves, at least three times per week. "Why mom?" he asks. "Because this oatmeal is high in fiber, which your body needs." Something in the son's head is turned off about the cereal because he thinks he has to eat the oatmeal to live. Now he won't touch the stuff, finds it repulsive. Why? Because he has to eat it, his freedom of choice is gone. I find when I have to do anything, I tense up a little. When I don't do what I was supposed to do, I stress out, I really stress out. When we "have to do" anything, stress draws near.
Young fathers and mothers live in a stress soup, so to speak. I grew up in a environment of stress. The whole baby boomer generation was raised by "depression era" parents, that wanted to make sure their children did not suffer as they did, by doing without. So mothers who would have rather stay at home and rear the kids, worked to help dad provide us with everything they thought was needed to keep us kids "happy." The results: a society of unnecessary needs, unreasonable wants, and happiness that left as fast as it arrived. Also, those caring parents built a stressed, "keep up with the Joneses" world, that these new parents today continue to strive to make the kids special, and chic in the eyes of their peers.
Advertisements, TV shows, and even in schools, peer pressure demands having the best of everything is a necessity for acceptance. The truth is, we don't need BMWs, or 10,000 sq.ft. homes. We don't have to use plastic at Christmas, buying gifts it takes a full year to pay off. We don't have to have multiple vacations to private resorts each year. Our kids don't have to play 4 sports because all of the other kids do. We don't have to make sure our kids look like they stepped out of a fashion magazine, they will survive. You may not, survive, if you stress yourself and refuse to relax.
Our world today is stressful by itself, read the news headlines, listen to what's going on...it is not real pleasant. But we can, remove much stress and much of the unpleasantness, by relaxing. Sit down on your brains in a nice quiet place, turn off all media, and think. See if you can reposition your mind to the skull where it belongs. See, if by relaxing in this quiet place, you can re-focus on what is important in life, by asking God how you can live a more relaxed existence, and teach your children to do the same. Write down your thoughts. Get your spouse to do the same, get on the same page by agreeing to stop overdoing unnecessary things, and begin anew to develop a way of teaching the entire family the importance of pace, and necessity vs unreasonableness. By looking to God for help, agreeing in prayer, and sharing your heart with your children, you will find the home relaxing and peaceful. Do you agree?
The idea is that we do not relax while trying to control. When we place things in God's more than capable hands, He sees after our needs, and we can relax. There is more to say, but not now, I "have" to go. Thanks for reading everyone, God bless and keep you all. Keith