3-Week Series: Double Blessing


Summary: Things that keep us offtrack. Dealing with stress and maintaining our ultimate focus in life.

Hi! Good morning everyone!

In behalf of the Life Hope Community, I would like to welcome you all to our gathering today. And it is my prayer that all of you are well despite of the bad or bed weather today. For those of you who have bee with us these past weeks, I’m pretty sure that you are aware of the series that we’ve started two weeks ago, And it’s entitled Staying on Course. (show slide) Just last Saturday, Pastor Simon dealt with one of the three things that keep us offtrack, (show slide) Money. Today, we will be dealing with the second on the list, and it’s Career, the rat race we all are in. Before we move on, I would like to request you to close your eyes and try to think of the most beautiful place you can imagine, a place where you would like to spend your long sought-after vacation…. (wait)

Thank you very much. So where have you have been? How many of you went to the beach? I’m sure you’d love to be in this place (show slide) if you are a beach lover. This is Maldives. How many of you went to the Tropics like Bali? (show slide). Wouldn’t it be so relaxing just to soak your body in warm water while enjoying the scenic view of forest? Now, who went to the Antarctic? Those who can survive the snow? (show slide) Well, that’s not gonna be the dream vacation of people who easily get cold like me. How many of you wanted it simple, and just spent it in a lake house like this? If you ask me, here’s what I look forward to visiting again. Sagada. Yearly, it has been a tradition for me visit this place which I’ve visited countless times already. But it never gets uninteresting for me. And every time I would go there, I’d stop by this place, where I can just relax and sip a cup of native coffee. Isn't it wonderful and so refreshing to just breakaway and leave the hustle and bustle of the city and for the meantime be free from the stress brought about by our jobs, career or work? I’m sure we’d all love that. But apparently, that doesn’t happen so often or every time we need it. We all still have to deal with reality. And this is our reality. (show slide) Well, this is the reality, at least for the commuters. And for those driving to work, this (show slide) is what you have to face everyday. And on top of these daily pursuits, is the stress cause by the pressure of work and tons of work load you have to deal with everyday. That’s why too often, we go home carrying all the stress acquired through out the day. And no matter how hard we try to stay away from the madness of our careers we always find ourselves occupied by it. And you can’t blame yourself if you are a hard worker, because you spend much of your time at work. Did you know? (show slide) over the course of an average lifetime, most people spend about 150,000 hours on the job? That amounts to 40% to 60% of our waking hours. And that percentage has grown over the years. In 1973 the average laborer spent 40 hours a week at work. In 1987 that amount increased to an average of 46 hours a week. Today, if you’re a professional you work an average of 52 hours a week and if you’re a small business owner or operator you work an average of 57 hours a week. The fact is no matter what your job, you and I will spend more time working, commuting to and from work and thinking about work than anything else we do in life. We’ll spend a greater number of hours involved in our careers than we will with our family, or with friends, or in leisure, or in spiritual activities. Whether we like it or not, our jobs dominate our lives. So we have to learn how to go about our jobs in a way that it won't cause us stress.

I’m sure many of you (show slide) are really fond of laid back Sunday, where you enjoy..and you relax.. And then it’s Monday morning again. and for some, it’s Monday mourning. A biblical author, named as “the teacher” in the book of Ecclesiastes , I believe could relate with what we are experiencing. In fact, a big portion of his writing deals so much on work. And possibly, just like many of us, he got stressed out and so burdened that he considered everything that he has done to be in vain. (show slide). I believe, for many of us (show slide) stress has become a way of life, and worse? people don't know how to deal with it and resort to desperate measures even up to the point of taking their lives. (show slide). How do we deal with it then?

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