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Christmas Anxiety Series: Slowing Down

Thu Dec 23

Watch, listen or read this series in the way that is best for you, the video, audio and text are all the same content.




Hey, Sandals Church. You know, one of the things that often drive stress and anxiety is having a hurried life. Hurriedness is not busyness. We all have busy calendars and we have busyness in our life, but hurriedness really comes from within and often we know that we feel hurried when we start to deal with things like, maybe we’re short fused or snappy, especially towards people we love. You know, we feel a sense of bitterness about things like, or a sense of, “I gotta do this” or, “I gotta do that.” Maybe you give yourself to arguments in your head and with people you’re not even talking to, but you’re arguing with them in your head. These are just indicators that you might have a hurried life. And this is not, this is not the life that God calls us to. Busyness is one thing, but he does not call us to feel hurried and pressed for time. You know, in Matthew 11:20-30, Jesus says, “Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come with me, get away with me. And you’ll learn to recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me and watch how I do it and learn these unforced rhythms of grace.” He says. Don’t you want that? Don’t you want that unforced rhythm of living in God’s grace? You know, the challenge is though, we often succumb to what I like to call Surface Level Engagement. And there’s a couple of key areas in that. And one is, I call it Tension Scattering. We’re focused on multiple things at one time. So, for example, you might be eating a meal and reading email or playing a game or checking your phone or watching television. You know, this is a great example of Attention Scattering. You’re driving in your car and having conversations or driving in your car and listening to an audio book. You know, we are multitasking, we’re scattering our attention in different places. But another is what I call Spiritual Snacking. And this is like a brief sort of devotional. Maybe you just focus on the verse of the day and that’s your devotional for the day. Or maybe, you know, you say a little prayer before you do something, maybe over a meal or something like that. See, Jesus was never in a hurry. And he calls us to really let go of these things and focus on some key things and dive deeper with him into real life. Let me give you four key ways you can do that. Number one, hold margin in your life. Don’t fill your life with everything, block out time and just hold margin for something, because you know what, something unplanned for is gonna pop up. Number two, find ways to recreate energy in your life. We’re giving out, giving out, giving out constantly all the things we do. What are you doing that actually brings energy or brings what we might call life-giving energy into you. Number three, learn to trust God with the things you care about, know that he cares about you, and he cares about what you care about. So, learn to trust him with those things you care about. And sometimes you gotta say it over and over and over again until you actually believe it. And number four, learn to be singularly focused, have a meal and enjoy your meal. Then go and read the email, right? Learn to be singularly focused. Listen, I hope these things have been helpful to you as you think about dealing with stress and anxiety and having an unhurried life. Thanks for listening.