Summary: Many today in our society are chasing after the wind and ending up overwhelmed and stressed in their lives. The result of this state is that many are robbed of their joy in life.
Are You Stressed!
On the lighter side: Two video clips from commercials to stress - stress
Question: How do you manage your stress?
Thesis: Many today in our society are chasing after the wind and ending up overwhelmed and stressed in their lives. The result of this state is that many are robbed of their joy in life.
T.S. – Let’s listen to the Book of Ecclesiastes and see what happens when our focus is in the wrong direction in life.
17So I hated life, because the work that is done under the sun was grievous to me. All of it is meaningless, a chasing after the wind. 18I hated all the things I had toiled for under the sun, because I must leave them to the one who comes after me. 19And who knows whether he will be a wise man or a fool? Yet he will have control over all the work into which I have poured my effort and skill under the sun. This too is meaningless. 20So my heart began to despair over all my toilsome labor under the sun. 21For a man may do his work with wisdom, knowledge and skill, and then he must leave all he owns to someone who has not worked for it. This too is meaningless and a great misfortune. 22What does a man get for all the toil and anxious striving with which he labors under the sun? 23All his days his work is pain and grief; even at night his mind does not rest. This too is meaningless. 24A man can do nothing better than to eat and drink and find satisfaction in his work. This too, I see, is from the hand of God, 25for without him, who can eat or find enjoyment? 26To the man who pleases him, God gives wisdom, knowledge and happiness, but to the sinner he gives the task of gathering and storing up wealth to hand it over to the one who pleases God. This too is meaningless, a chasing after the wind.
Ecclesiastes 4: 1-8:
1Again I looked and saw all the oppression that was taking place under the sun: I saw the tears of the oppressed—and they have no comforter; power was on the side of their oppressors—and they have no comforter. 2And I declared that the dead, who had already died, are happier than the living, who are still alive. 3But better than both is he who has not yet been, who has not seen the evil that is done under the sun. 4And I saw that all labor and all achievement spring from man’s envy of his neighbor. This too is meaningless, a chasing after the wind. 5The fool folds his hands and ruins himself. 6Better one handful with tranquility than two handfuls with toil and chasing after the wind. 7Again I saw something meaningless under the sun: 8There was a man all alone; he had neither son nor brother. There was no end to his toil, yet his eyes were not content with his wealth. “For whom am I toiling,” he asked, “and why am I depriving myself of enjoyment?” This too is meaningless—a miserable business!
After reading the scripture sections in Ecclesiastes we discover that Solomon knew what it was like to be stressed out in this life and to come to a point were life was like chasing after the wind. I believe many today could relate to the feelings of Solomon from our book today. Many of us in this life feel like we are chasing after the wind. We are running around in circles going nowhere and we are totally stressed out because we feel like life has no purpose. It seems like we are running in circles trying to achieve something - I’m not sure if we know what that something is though? I see far too many people collapsing under the stress and the pressure of running around like roosters with their heads cut off.
I am hearing a new phrase repeated throughout our nation today, they are saying we are no longer “One Nation, Under God!” but “One Nation, Under Stress!” I talk to a lot of people on a regular basis and hear them say, “I am exhausted,” You can look at their eyes and see that they are overwhelmed. They keep saying things like, “All I have to do is make it to this month and then I can relax!” But then they get to that month they discover that it is as busy and as over whelming as the last 6 months were. They seem to be trapped in the endless cycle of stress, and busyness. So the drip goes on hitting them in the forehead day after day after day. They are deceived with the idea that they have to continue doing more, more and more. There is in their minds some grandiose view that it’s good for them and their family to stay this stressed. It’s good for them to keep their heads under the steady drip of stress and busyness.