BBC Radio Leicester Thought for the Day

© John Denney 18 October 2004


Are you stressed?  Here are some pointers so you can tell:

1.     You say the same sentence over and over again, not realizing that you've said it before.

2.     Your heart beats in an interesting salsa rhythm.

3.     Indigestion tablets become your sole source of nutrition.

4.     You say the same sentence over and over again, not realizing that you've said it before.

5.     On the way into work, you call your voice mail to leave reminders to yourself.

6.     You begin to talk to yourself, then disagree with yourself, get into a nasty row over it, lose, and refuse to speak to yourself for the rest of the night.

7.     You say the same sentence over and over again, not realizing that you've said it before.

There was some research published at the weekend categorising the stress levels of different jobs.  Hairdressers have the least stressful jobs, followed closely by builders and headhunters.  I think that’s the recruitment consultants, not the little guys with the blowpipes and bonce-shrinking kits.  At the top of the table, teaching is the fourth most stressful job, lawyers come in at number three, and – I really have difficulty believing this – Estate Agents[1] come in second!  And the most stressful job is taxi driving.  Fare enough.


I bet half of you listening to me are thinking, “If they think their life is stressful, they should try mine”.  And it’s true that we all have stress from time to time.  In fact, a little stress is good for you.  It’s what makes us get things done, for one thing.  And a low level of stress keeps you young, apparently[2] – something to do with molecular chaperones (whatever they are).  Too much stress, though, and you suffer mental fatigue, heart problems, and all sorts of other bad things.


That’s why God provided a day off for us.  Even He took a day off after He’d created the world and all that’s in it[3].  We need to strike a balance between work and rest, because God made us that way.  On another Monday morning, here’s what God is saying to you:  Don't fuss about what's on the table at mealtimes or whether the clothes in your wardrobe are in fashion.  There is far more to your life than the food you put in your stomach, more to your outer appearance than the clothes you hang on your body.  Look at the birds, free and unfettered, not tied down to a job description, careless in the care of God.  And you count far more to him than birds.[4]

[1] Or “Realtors” as they are known in America

[2] Molecular Biology of the Cell, (American Society for Cell Biology, Feb 2004): “stress … unleashes a great number of molecular chaperones that capture all kinds of damaged and misfolded proteins”

[3] Genesis 2:2-3

[4] Matthew 6:25-26 (MSG)