Tuesday, June 04, 2013

Summer Break, Stress, and Calm. Oh My!


Just in case you were wondering about that strange sound coming from the Green household. No worries! It is simply a sigh of relief that summer break has commenced. That wonderful time of decompressing from the fast-paced days of early alarms, endless meetings and all of the expectations that come along with the education profession. I have been going to school in varying capacities for over thirty years and the one consistent thing about them all is that summer break is always a welcome sight. Couple that with a particularly demanding season as a pastor and physical difficulties at home and we are extremely glad to enjoy a change in pace.

We hope to be able to visit our friends and relatives in Florida and Alabama this summer, which will encompass over two weeks of our break. When we return home there are also some components of the kid’s education that we need to complete and also some church meetings that we are looking forward to attending. BUT, the theme of this summer is CALM. That sounds easy enough doesn’t it?  Experience proves that it is much easier said than done when reality, expectations and time (or lack thereof) inevitably collide in the game of life.  Despite the challenges, we would all benefit from a healthy dose of calm in our lives. Let’s examine this subject from a biblical standpoint:

Philippians 4:5-7 Let your moderation be known unto all men. The Lord is at hand.
Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.

Do you notice the beautiful progression of this passage? Herein contains some crucial steps to achieving calm in your life. Step one is moderation. The 1828 Webster’s Dictionary defines it as: calmness of mind; equanimity; as, to bear prosperity or adversity with moderation. In other words we should confront the inevitable challenges of life without extreme emotional reactions. Both good and bad are to be responded to in a moderate manner. We should not overreact either direction. Why? Because the Lord is always with us!

The next step involves replacing worry with conversing with God. I confess that a large amount of my thought life is consumed with ‘what ifs’ that might never come to fruition. It is my nature to overanalyze every little aspect of life. But the Apostle Paul admonishes us to replace such with petitions to God. Worry is fruitless. Talking to God is always productive and time well spent!

Finally, the fruit of these two habits is supernatural peace. That is the calm that I desire! That is the example that we desire to cultivate in our home this summer and beyond. The demands of life will always be present. There will always be roadblocks along the journey. But what a wonderful joy to know that obedience to God and adherence to the simple pattern that He breathed into scripture can produce peace in the midst of incredible challenges!


Michael D. Green, Jr.
Fort Wayne PBC