Stressing Out in Paradise

Posted: November 10, 2013 in Uncategorized
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How’s this for a confusing set of statistics?  Earlier this week The West Australian reported that Australia may be the best place in the world to live since it had topped “the good life index”.

A comparison by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development of the richest and fastest growing countries ranked Australia the No.1 nation on a range of indicators.

The How’s Life? study went beyond economics to areas such as life expectancy, hours worked and pollution. Australia was among the best in every one. Australians have a high level of disposable income and increasing household wealth.

They enjoy one of the longest life expectancies at above 83. With the Americans, New Zealanders and Canadians, Australians had the highest proportion of people reporting good or very good health.

Australia has low homicide and assault rates and Australians are likely to say they are satisfied with their life.

But today’s West reported that we’ve got some big problems with stress. According to a state-of-the-nation survey commissioned by the Australian Psychological Society (APS), Australians overall report declining wellbeing and increasing stress. The article goes on to say:

They also have more depression and anxiety symptoms than those revealed in the 2011 and 2012 surveys.

Younger people are the most stressed and people older than 66 are coping the best, according to the online survey of 1548 people, 999 of whom are employed.

Workplace issues include a lack of feedback, unclear expectations and not feeling valued.

Employees report significantly lower levels of job satisfaction and lower levels of interest in their job compared with previous years.

While most employees feel physical injuries are taken seriously, only 50 per cent feel supported with mental health issues, according to the survey, released to coincide with national psychology week.

They also have more depression and anxiety symptoms than those revealed in the 2011 and 2012 surveys.

Younger people are the most stressed and people older than 66 are coping the best, according to the online survey of 1548 people, 999 of whom are employed.

Workplace issues include a lack of feedback, unclear expectations and not feeling valued.

Employees report significantly lower levels of job satisfaction and lower levels of interest in their job compared with previous years.

While most employees feel physical injuries are taken seriously, only 50 per cent feel supported with mental health issues, according to the survey, released to coincide with national psychology week.

OK, how do we work that out? We live in the best country in the world, but our stress levels are increasing.

I talked at church yesterday about the time that Jesus asked his disciples for a quick trip across the lake and took the opportunity for a quick nap. While he was asleep a sudden squall hit the lake and the disciples, who were fishermen and no doubt, highly competent sailors, got themselves into a lather, and woke Jesus up, claiming that they were all going to be drowned.

Jesus queried their faith, but in my opinion, it wasn’t to do with how much faith they had. Rather, it was about where their faith was directed. Everything fell apart when Jesus was asleep, which suggests their faith was directed towards their own skills and to a Jesus who was awake and standing up. They fell apart because they thought he wasn’t “on the job”.

But Jesus wanted them to know that he was trustworthy and could be trusted, even when he was asleep. In the best country in the world, it’s time we directed our faith, no matter how weak it may be, towards the One who can be trusted in every situation. I’m sure that no matter what experiences we may have and how stressed we may become about those experiences, Jesus can be trusted to help us through that situation.

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. Romans 15:13

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Comments
  1. ivan says:

    Amen Rob…and when we go to sleep we can rest KNOWing that He, can be fully trusted.
    Trusting in the Gospel, something fully outside of us…yes Jesus, the object of our faith brings true peace.

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