Activated - - NEWS - By Curtis Peter van Gorder

1. See­nol­ogy-28677674.

2. See­room/pr/Pages/2013-12-30-01.aspx.

3. Luke 1:79

4. http://elixir­

5. See Isa­iah 9:6.

6. See John 14:27.

I vividly re­call the men in our neigh­bor­hood gath­er­ing ev­ery evening af­ter work in a va­cant lot next to my house for a game of horse­shoes. The pace of life was more re­laxed when I was a child. Work was from nine to five, and then it was time to knock off and play horse­shoes.

You may not know the game of horse­shoes. A U-shaped metal horse­shoe is thrown to­ward a metal stake placed in a saw­dust or dirt square about 13 yards (12 m) away. The player to land his horse­shoes clos­est to the stake is the win­ner. When a horse­shoe en­cir­cles the stake, it is called a “ringer.”

It was a per­fect time to chat about the day. The men would re­late their lat­est tri­umphs or woes, or talk about cur­rent events. It all went over my head, of course, but I could see they en­joyed it.

All of that dis­ap­peared with the ad­vent of TV. As each fam­ily bought a TV set, peo­ple spent less and less time play­ing horse­shoes. In­stead they spent their evenings in front of the new marvel with its flick­er­ing black-and-white images. And that was just the start.

Ac­cord­ing to re­cent re­search, Bri­tons spend more than 50% of their wak­ing day us­ing tech­nol­ogy de­vices, in­clud­ing watch­ing TV, surf­ing the In­ter­net, and com­mu­ni­cat­ing via so­cial me­dia. The daily av­er­age of 8 hours and 41 min­utes is more than an av­er­age night’s sleep!

1 The first com­mer­cial flights were only one hun­dred years ago. Now more than 8 mil­lion peo­ple fly each day on av­er­age. It is ques­tion­able whether this

2 speed has made us hap­pier. Nor do I think the ad­vance in tech­nol­ogy has brought us peace of mind.

We race from birth to death with hardly time to stop and smell the roses. Do more, do it bet­ter, do it yes­ter­day, get rich quick—or in debt quick. Fast food, fast com­put­ers, fast money, fast cars in fast lanes, fast talk in sound bites. “Live fast” seems to be our slo­gan.

Some­times we pile so much stress on our­selves in this speedy life­style that we find it hard to cope. Some­times we get un­der stress and don’t even know it. On a re­cent trip to the den­tist, I found that I had de­vel­oped cracks in some of my teeth. My den­tist ex­plained that stress had ap­par­ently caused me to bite and grind my teeth in my sleep.

Ma­jor stud­ies have been done on the sub­ject of stress al­le­vi­a­tion, as in­ef­fi­ciency, lost pro­duc­tion, and ab­sen­teeism—all of which have been linked to stress in the work­place—sap the econ­omy of bil­lions each year. So what’s the cure? We can’t turn back the clock, nor do we nec­es­sar­ily want to. The world to­day is dif­fer­ent from the one I grew up in, and we need to adapt our strate­gies. Thank­fully, some of the prac­ti­cal so­lu­tions th­ese stud­ies have come up with seem easy enough to do:

• Take up gar­den­ing.

• De-clut­ter your home or your work en­vi­ron­ment.

• Give more love and af­fec­tion, and al­low your­self to re­ceive them in re­turn.

• Get a mas­sage.

• Work on de­vel­op­ing lov­ing re­la­tion­ships.

• Make healthy changes in your diet and life­style, such as drink­ing less al­co­hol, cut­ting down on caf­feine, or stop­ping smok­ing.

• Ex­er­cise, in na­ture if pos­si­ble.

• Give three sin­cere com­pli­ments at work each day.

• Get a good rest.

• Have a good laugh.

• Lis­ten to soft mu­sic.

• Take a mini-va­ca­tion.

• Get a pet.

All of th­ese prac­ti­cal sug­ges­tions are help­ful, but find­ing that peace that passes all un­der­stand­ing takes more. It takes lis­ten­ing for a mo­ment to God’s still small voice in our hearts that re­as­sures us that He still loves us in spite of our short­com­ings.

Take a mo­ment to­day to be re­freshed in prayer so that you may find rest for your soul. The prob­lems you face will come into per­spec­tive as you ex­pe­ri­ence the awe­some love of God. A prophecy about Je­sus given shortly be­fore His birth said that He would “guide our feet into the way of peace.” May you

3 fol­low the way He shows you.

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