Forbes reports that based on a recent study by CareerCast, university professors have the least stressful jobs. And they are all probably right.
But as long as we are concerned with reporting, statistically, on whose job is the most adjectived this or even just asking the question as to whose workload or lifeload is more anxious-making than our own, then we are all going about this completely wrong.
I'll tell you what's super stressful: Disobedience.
In a word, that is the source of most of our stress. Our own disobedience. It is stressful, the business of not doing what we are meant to do, willfully or unwittingly doing the work to which we are not called.
Between the ages of when I graduated from undergrad (21) and the age I am now (32), 11 years have passed. In those 11 years, I have held: guess. Guess how many jobs this singular individual has held in 11 years.
I have had 15 jobs in 11 years. Some held concurrently, but still.
Let me tell you. That is a lot of stress. In other words, that is a lot of disobedience.
Not all of it. But for a great portion of it, I was very busy learning what I didn't want to do. Supposedly. That's what I told myself. If I'm honest, though, I was busy worrying. Worrying I might not appear well-rounded enough if I didn't at least do a little of this. Worried I might not have enough money if I didn't work in that. Worried I wasn't qualified for that, so let me just do this for the time being. Worried that maybe I wouldn't have enough money to support myself and my husband and worried that if I said no to that grad program now that maybe I would never go. AND WHAT THEN!
Stressful, this disobedience.
Does God calls us to worry? No. Does God say good things come from worrying, worry more so you can become a seasoned and professional worrier? No. No to the no power.
In worrying and taking action because of our worry, we disobey.
When we pray and we discern and then we take action because of the answer to that prayer, we obey.
There is no explicable reason why I get to do what I do for a living. I didn't have teaching experience before I taught. A friend read my writing, told her father I'd be a good journalism instructor, net net, I had a teaching job. There is no reason other than I had a desire in my heart to teach and I prayed that it would amount to something because I thought I would be able to bless and help others in this way.
There is no explicable reason why I up and moved my family from Boston to Chattanooga, other than that my father-in-law called my husband up one afternoon and told him to tell me to apply for a teaching job at a particular school. So I did. And within a month I was being flown out to interview. When the job was offered to me, my husband and I prayed. And my husband hesitated but then he heard a sermon that turned his brain and heart inside out and we said, Okay, game on. Let's put our life into boxes and do this thing in Tennessee.
Later a student told me that someone with far more experience than I, someone with way more expertise and publications and degrees next to his name was passed up for me. There is no explanation for that (if it's true) other than that when God wants you to do something or go somewhere or be something to someone, He has the power to make that happen for the willing vessel.
It's okay if you think that's hogwash. But that hogwash is my life and the reason I have peace in my life right now, despite the fact that we are entering foreclosure on a property that we left in order to obedient to this call to come to Tennessee.
I wake up every day happy. I have peace. It does not mean I do not have challenges or that I am just outstanding at what I do, or even that I am competent at it. But I love my job. I love my students!! I love what I teach.
I believe I was called to this. So, I'm gonna keep doing it. Especially since Forbes says I shouldn't be stressed about it anyway.