The Rule of 5

nails scratch chalkboardby Erica Pearson, ericalovesbooks@gmail.com

What bugs you? I mean mind-numbing, spine-tingling, nails-on-a-chalk-board drives you crazy!?!

Is it that toy stuck under the couch staring at you that should have been put away the first time you asked? Do you have crumbs in your car that need vacuuming out? Is the person sitting next to you smacking their gum?

Or, let’s talk about work.  What about new work policies that keep changing every year you have absolutely no control over?  Try my personal favorite… paper work.  Not just “paperwork”, but paperwork that has a different format every single time it’s sent out and the boss needs it immediately?  Oh that’s a fun one, right?  I’m sure even a few names of people who gripe you are floating around in your head about now too. Those idiosyncrasies that seemed cute at first but now threaten to send you to the moon.

Now, before we go down a very negative road that truly has no decent outcome, let me introduce you to the “Rule of 5”.

I cannot take credit for this rule.  A very wise woman whom I had the honor of knowing on this earth taught me this rule, and I look forward to reconnecting with her in Heaven and sharing with her how it truly helped me regain my sanity.  Here it is:

fiver fiveThe very next time you feel your stress level rising simply ask yourself:

Is this going to matter to me 5 minutes from now?

Is this going to matter to me 5 days/weeks from now?

Is this going to matter to me 5 years from now?

If the answer is NOT in 5 years…then the source of your stress needs some serious perspective.

After all, the Bible asks us a simple question, Can all your worries add a single moment to your life?

Our gripes and our pet peeves cannot add a single second to our lives, however, they can take away from our lives.   They take us away from our families.  They turn us into negative co-workers.  We become distracted and unfocused.  That paperwork that drives me crazy… I can finish in a very short amount of time, but if I allow myself to bring that stress home, I have now robbed myself of precious and meaningful moments with my family.  In five years I won’t even remember what I wrote on those documents, but my family will forever remember how I impacted their lives.

Put your real energy in the “5 year!” Your family, your friends, your church, your small groups!  Make a list if you need to.  If the “5 day” stuff is taking way too much of your energy, then make a very real plan on how to deal with those stresses when they come, because they will.  Ask a trusted friend to hold you accountable so you can sift through and find the things that are of real value in your life.  Have scripture ready and available to guard your mind.  (I personally keep index cards with my most trusted scriptures on a ring nearby).

Always remember the “Rule of 5!”  Get out there and ENJOY life!

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