In a 1968 episode of the original Star Trek, the crew of the starship Enterprise encounters an intergalactic species whose lives are far more fast-paced than those of their human counterparts. But there is a price. “At this level, they are easily damaged,” Captain Kirk observes, “as if accelerated living burns them out.” Star Trek’s creators apparently were making an observation about where the mounting pace of modern life was taking us—and they may have been even righter than they realized.
Some years ago, the World Health Organization predicted that by the end of this decade, half of the top ten medical problems worldwide would be stress-related, and another study found that 54% of people worldwide complain of stress at work. In Japan, the modern era has coined the new words karoshi and karojisatsu—“death from overwork” and “suicide from overwork.”
Stress is a very real problem that affects all of us to varying degrees. Perhaps the most daunting aspect of stress is the way it is self-perpetuating. Just thinking about how to get out from under it puts us under more stress.
There is a way out, though, a sure and simple way of escape. It’s so simple, in fact, that many people make the mistake of dismissing it before trying it, and therefore continue in their stressed-out state.
“Come to Me,” Jesus says, “and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.”1 When you are wearied with the strain of it all, you can fly to Jesus on the wings of prayer and faith and get the relief that He alone can give you. He knows what you need most of all: rest of body, mind, and spirit, fellowship with Him, and the spiritual strengthening that comes from reading and absorbing His Word. Just a few quiet moments with Jesus can melt away the tension, bring peace of mind and spirit, and put the situations that lead to stress in proper perspective. Can it really be as simple as that? You’ll never know what sweet relief awaits you till you try it!