May 27, 2014 at 8:12 pm , by Nick Shell
3 years, 6 months.
In my extremely limited ability to understand the concept of eternity and life after this, sometimes I subconsciously and erroneously tend to think of Heaven as a place where I could just exist in a state of unconsciousness and it not affect anyone else; void of responsibility or pressure to perform.
Many fellow parents (understandably) laughed at the concept of a modern day parent having any escape from the overwhelming pace of life that kicks in once you become a parent.
I used to be extremely optimistic, like all the time.
But those were the days before… responsibility happened.
That was before I was truly feeling the pressure of what life (AKA “the real world”) actually demands from a person.
Of course, I also remember feeling lost, alone, and unfulfilled back when I was still single. Not a coincidence.
That’s because with great blessings come great responsibility; and therefore, stress.
A job, a wife, and child are all blessings. However, I’ve learned to begin equating the word “blessing” with “responsibility.”
Now, before I sound like I’m going off the deep end, I want to balance this with the other side of the story.
Earlier last week, I was at of one of my good friends’ house, hanging out with him on his front porch, while his family was out of town. We talked about how nice it was to be able to “unplug” for brief moments at a time like that.
Then we talked about how if life weren’t this chaotic, and if we as dads and husbands weren’t overloaded with responsibilities like we are, we would go crazy.
Without a regular dose of being stressed out, I get stressed out.
It makes me think of a line from one of my favorite Dave Matthews Band songs, “So Much To Say”:
I say my hell is the closet I’m stuck inside.
If in this exhausted (and limited) state of mind, a seemingly reasonable version of Heaven would be a state of unconsciousness, void of responsibility or accountability, then it makes sense that my concept for understanding hell would be a place where I was conscious, alone and bored out of my mind, with no responsibility or accountability.
I’ve heard the saying, “too blessed to be stressed.” Yeah, I’m not sure I agree with that.
Because the way I see it, if I am stressed, then I am blessed.
Otherwise, I would be searching for a life without responsibility, which is what I had before I had you, Mommy, a full-time job, and two part time jobs.
And back then, I felt incomplete.
These days, I can honestly say I never feel incomplete, or alone, or not needed, or unloved. I say stress is a good thing, if it traces back to responsibility and blessings.