“…life does not consist in an abundance of possessions.” ~Luke 12:15
We often hear about stress tests that doctors use to tell us how well our hearts are working, or not working. This typically involves walking/running on a treadmill in order to raise one’s heart rate, increase stress on the body, while being connected to a bunch of machines to monitor results. Over the past few years we’ve started hearing about stress tests for banks. A similar idea, when the markets fluctuate and cause stress on financial institutions, how well will they perform? Bank stress tests give us an idea of these results. What about the idea of a life stress test?
The American Institute of Stress has lots of interesting information on different types of stress, causes, effects, and ways to manage stress. More and more stress is identified as a significant health risk and cause of other health problems. What if there was a stress test for life? What if Jesus’ words, “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also” (Luke 12:34), is just that, a life stress test?
Trying to keep up is stressful but sometimes just trying to get what we need is stressful, or what we think we need. Perhaps it is time to step back and identify the things causing us stress, and ask ourselves whether they are truly things we need. Are we trying to “seek his kingdom” and believing “these things will be given to [us] as well” (Luke 12:31)? Jesus wants to give us life, and life fully, not just relieve stress. He desires for us to experience the in-breaking of his kingdom today and through this pursue kingdom priorities. It is here we find peace and stress relief. It is only here that we can trust Jesus’ words, “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life” (Luke 12:22).