Stress is a choice. Do you buy that? Some people have a hard time with the idea. Yes, bad things happen: The economy sours, our business struggles, the stock market tumbles, jobs are lost, people around us don't follow through, deadlines are missed, projects fail, good people leave. Life is full of these. But still, stress is a choice because whatever the 'trigger event,' we always choose our own response. We choose to react angrily. We choose to stuff our emotions and keep quiet. We choose to worry. Stress is a choice.
God isn't about making good things happen to you, or bad things happen to you. He's all about you making choices--exercising the gift of free will. God wants you to have good things and a good life, but He won't gift wrap them for you. You have to choose the actions that lead you to that life.
I think I was born 'in to deep,' and bad things happen every day. Sometimes I have to stab hellions. Sometimes I have to frame friends for murder, and stab evil math teachers, and watch my best friend die. Again. We deal with it, then we move on.
You may have heard about living today, tomorrow, or "tonow." Tonow, children tell us, is a gift, which is why we call it "the present." Children understand that tonow is the place to live. The present is really the only moment we have. Sure, bad things can happen in the tonow. But when bad things happen to children, they show us the way again, because they know how to be in touch with their feelings and needs.
Real life is not quite as it is in stories. In the old tales, bad things happen, and when the tale has unfolded and come to its triumphant conclusion, it is as if the bad things had never been. Life is not as simple as that, not quite.
It is tempting at one level to believe that bad things happen to people (especially other people) because God is a righteous judge who gives them exactly what they deserve. By believing that we keep the world orderly and understandable.... But [this belief] has a number of serious limitations.... It teaches people to blame themselves. It creates guilt when there is no basis for guilt. And most disturbing of all, it does not even fit the facts.