I found a pair of discarded khakis in our laundry room that make me want to gain 15 pounds so I can wear them in public. They’re that comfortable.
And I think if I’m honest with myself that’s the way stress is for me, too. I’m willing to indulge in things that I know aren’t good for me, time and time again, because I’m comfortable there. I recently told my counselor how uncomfortable I am when I’m not stressed. My mind feels strangely blank and free and begins to frantically search for something to be anxious about. “Stress is like my idle,” I said; and then froze. We locked eyes as what I said sunk in. Because I meant “idle,” but as I spoke it was clear that stress is also my idol.
So I’m asking God to show me ways to reclaim the role of idle in my life: the place I go in times of joy, hurt, and neutral. For me that means a lot of time in the Psalms being reminded that, “I must perform my vows to you, O God; I will render thank offerings to you.” Psalm 56:12; “The Lord is the stronghold of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?” Psalm 27:1b; “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.” Psalm 46:1.
What about you? Where is your idle? What pair of comfortable but harmful habits might you need to give up? And if you have sewing skills, would you be willing to take in a pair of pants for me?