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Perspective can ease effects of daily stress

Nov. 12, 1998

It seems like yesterday I was in the bookstore with my fall schedule trying to figure out what books I needed for my classes this semester. Now here we are in November, excited about the much-needed relaxation the Thanksgiving holidays have to offer.

As we prepare to pack up our things and head home, staring us right in the face are tests, papers, projects, appointments, practice, exercise and then more tests. Anxiety and worry can slowly rob us of our joy and keep us from delighting in the simple pleasures each day has to offer.

Even in the midst of all that is going on, we can keep things flowing smoothly if we have the right perspective. Because our circumstances in life change constantly, this is crucial in determining how we will respond to different situations.

Sure, it can be very challenging to have a positive attitude when you have three tests, two research papers and not a spare second in your day, but no matter what situation you're facing, the outcome is what you make of it.

When you get stressed out, try to remember that everything you're going through is preparing you for the future. It's easy to complain when you're having a hectic, crazy day, but it takes a determined person to look at that day with the confidence that you are being shaped and prepared for the next day.

As a Christian, it is encouraging to know that 'all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose' (Romans 8:28). Because of this promise, I can rest secure that God has everything in His hands, and He is going to take care of my needs each and every day. He allows me to be in every situation I am in, good or bad, so that He can accomplish His will for my life.

Having that security and faith in Christ makes it much easier to look at each day with confidence and joy. It helps me keep everything in perspective to know that hard work and perseverance are not in vain. No matter where my future leads, I have purpose and success in Christ.

If you develop this kind of positive outlook in the things you are doing today, by looking for the good in each situation and trusting that God has everything in control, it will greatly benefit you in the future. Christ offers us joy that will sustain us throughout our lives. This kind of joy and contentment is not one that retreats easily or changes with the seasons; it is an attribute that we can carry with us through every state of life.

In the famous words of Ella Wheeler Wilcox, 'It is easy enough to be pleasant, When life flows like a song, But the man worth while is one who will smile, When everything goes wrong.'

(Brittney Partridge is a junior journalism major from Tyler.).

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