Stress fractures have plagued some of the greatest NBA players. Bill Walton and Yao Ming were forced into early retirement because of this problem. A stress fracture begins when the shock and strain of playing the game creates microscopic cracks in the outer layer of bone, usually in the legs or feet. If this goes unnoticed and untreated it can result in serious injury. In life we often run at a frenzied pace and ignore the signs that our life has stress fractures. We mask the symptoms and hope they will go away on their own; however, left unattended the results can be disastrous. These fractures deplete our spirit, suck the life out of us and take us off course. We become overwhelmed. Life is too short to live in a hurry. God has a better plan.

Scriptures
Eph 5:15-17; Mt 11:28-29; Pr 8:11; Jn 10:10; Ps 23:1-3; Ps 46:10

Verse
So be careful how you live. Don’t live like fools, but like those who are wise. Make the most of every opportunity in these evil days. Don’t act thoughtlessly, but understand what the Lord wants you to do. (Eph 5:15-17) “Be still and know that I am God! I am exalted among the nations, I am exalted in the earth.” (Ps 46:10)

Thought
Sadly, millions of people will never reach their full spiritual potential because they are too busy, too stressed out, too tired, too pre-occupied to follow God. It’s not that they don’t think God is important nor that they intentionally want to defy God, shake their fist at him and walk away, but they are too busy, too weary, and too depleted to pursue their relationship with him. Each of us must monitor our lives (emotional, physical, relational). We must decide how we are going to live so that our lives do not get out of balance. In the Twenty-third Psalm, David says, “The Lord is my shepherd.” It’s a choice. By giving God control over our life, he directs our paths. He gives us rest and peace and restoration. The Good Shepherd knows what we need. He is always there guiding, caring, protecting and watching over us.

Questions
Answer these questions on a scale of 1 – 10, with “1” being I’m ok and “10” being I’m totally fried. (1) Do you live at a dead run with a constant sense of urgency? (2) Do you struggle making decisions because you are overwhelmed? (3) Do you have a surplus of information and a shortage of wisdom? (4) Has your relationship with God stagnated and grown superficial? (5) Do you feel a decreased capacity to love because you are exhausted and depleted?

Response
Add your score from the questions above. If you have 50, you are barely held together with paper clips and rubber bands! If you are at 25, you are living half a life! If you are at 5, you are experiencing life’s fullness as God designed. Look in the mirror; see who you’ve become. Lean on Jesus to help you do some honest assessing. Regain a healthy perspective. Unplug from the things that need to go. Start living a God honoring life.

Prayer
Oh Lord, be my shepherd. I come into your presence with the stress and frenzy of my life. Allow the peaceful power of your Holy Spirit to give my soul rest and restoration. May I grow in faith toward you and find confidence in your plan. I want to live beside still waters and to reflect your image in my life, in Jesus Name I pray, amen.