“The world is indeed full of peril, and in it there are many dark places; but still there is much that is fair, and though in all lands love is now mingled with grief, it grows perhaps the greater.”
The Fellowship of the Ring by J. R. R. Tolkien
As a single person, I always have a ‘meal’ book. This is a book I am slowly reading as I eat my meals. Without the book I find it too lonely to eat healthy prepared meals alone.
We in Romania have the war on our northern border. It is omnipresent. We have Ukrainian refugees pausing to be refreshed, then passing through. The westward flow.
As God directs all areas of my life, He fits the book to the times. I had just re-read The Hobbit and, as war broke to our north, The Fellowship of the Ring accompanied my meals. If I didn’t know the story well, the tension of the story could give me indigestion.
How can I not be troubled?
I know the end of the story! Jesus returns. Justice wins. Tears are wiped away.
When I’ve had a very terrible, rotten, discouraging time, I have a healthy custom to calm and reassure myself. (Really holy people go to the Psalms.) I pick up the third book of The Lord of the Rings trilogy (The Return of the King) and I read the ending. The evil has passed. The good king rules. Beautiful things are built or re-built. Small battles are easily won.
When I finish my reading, I usually have a cry to release the tension and sleep without troubled dreams.
Before I know the need for this healthy habit, I might have an unhealthy method of dealing with my stress. Online Solitaire. Junk food. Episode after episode of Dad’s Army on YouTube until 1am. When I come to myself, I call this method sin. I repent and seek forgiveness from Jesus who is so very ready for me to turn back.
My colleagues, how are you doing with the stress of the war?