Uncertainty can lead to tremendous stress. What are ways we can deal with the things we don't know?
[Gary Petty] I read an article in the English newspaper, "The Guardian." And the researchers in this article were talking about the cause of stress and how uncertainty leads to stress. And how uncertainty can lead us to actually destroying our health, our anxiety, fear. And they gave an example. I wanna read this example. You have a very important meeting. You leave the house with plenty of time, and there's a little traffic. You feel no stress. You're gonna get there on time, right?
And a second scenario, you leave the house and partway to the meeting, you get stuck in a massive traffic jam, and there's no way out, you're stressed. We've all been there. You gotta be someplace. You're looking at the time. You're watching it tick away, and you're stuck. Basically, it was a parking lot because you can't move forward. You then realize that you have no control. This can lead to a lot of different reactions. Some people are just, "Well, okay, I give up." Other people are on their phone. You've seen them. They're outside their car walking up and down through the traffic, just frantically talking on their phone because there was somewhere they had to be. There's some meeting. There's some deal, and it's not gonna happen. And they're on the phone, maybe they were buying a house, and they're trying to get taken care of. They're stressed. They don't know what to do. Some people are angry. You see them just pounding the wheel or pounding the horn, knowing that nobody can move, right? All these different reactions to, "I've lost control of what's going on."
In the third scenario, there's unanticipated heavy traffic. You're overcome by stress as you fight the traffic with the uncertainty that if you're gonna get to the meeting on time. And some people in that uncertainty, they become NASCAR drivers. You know, they're weaving in and out. They're moving all over as they're trying to get to where they're going to be.
Now, the truth is all of these situations had uncertainty, right? I mean, in the first one, everything's going great, but you can have a flat tire on the way there. We've all been through that too. And suddenly, you know, your car breaks down, you have a flat tire, something happens. And suddenly, you're not gonna be able to make your meeting. You're not gonna be where you're supposed to be. You're not gonna get your kids to practice or you're gonna miss a game or whatever it is. And there's all this stress because of this uncertainty. Okay.
We live in a world of uncertainty. What can you do to calm yourself? Okay. A couple of things. First of all, you need to understand, and realize, and accept the certainty of God's love and involvement in your life. And if you don't have that as a certainty, you need to go pray about it. You need to ask God to help you experience His love, His concern, and discover His purpose.
So that means you gotta be in the Bible. In this time of uncertainty, everybody should be spending more time praying and reading their Bible. And anything that's keeping you from praying and reading your Bible, get rid of or change it to a different priority. You have to make time to do that or this stress will just become more and more overwhelming.
There's then there's actually some physical things you can do. And I want you to make a list. Sit and make a list of things you can get certain control over. Okay? Here's a few. This is something I wrote down for me. Declutter my house. Get control of time commitments that do not serve God or help others. Make sure you're not obsessed with monetary gain or things. Okay. I mean, sometimes we can be so absorbed in the getting things that we're missing out on life, and that's actually creating more stress. Get control of the amount of time you spend in entertainment. I mean, we all need some entertainment. But in times of uncertainty, we can actually just let entertainment sort of overwhelm us and we're just locked into it. And that actually now becomes stressful. Get control of your prayer and Bible study time. Get better control of your health. Take care of yourself.
You know, we do live in a time of uncertainty. But remember, God is concerned, God is involved, God hasn't abandoned you. So reach out and ask Him to help you in this time of uncertainty.
That's BT Daily, and join us next time.