Stress by definition is the degree to which you feel overwhelmed or unable to cope as a result of pressures that are unmanageable.
We don't need Webster to tell us the definition of stress. We all feel it. Every. Single. Day.
Why is my question? When our lives feel less than because of the stress we are under, why do we push so hard for more? Is the stress we feel a result of our own making?
Solomon tells us that we can work hard to achieve, but we need to consider the reason behind the striving. If we are stressing ourselves to gain worldly wants, what is it worth? If we are working to glorify ourselves and our wants, we are creating this vicious cycle of always striving for more. What will be the next thing on our wish list? How much harder will we have to work to get to that? How much more stress will we put ourselves under to get it?
If our striving is always for some type of personal gain, we will always be unsatisfied. At the end of the day, we don't get to take anything with us. No one knows when the time will come when we are face to face with Jesus. Is it better to work our days away to gain stuff we leave behind? Our time is better spent playing board games with our kids and splashing in mud puddles or going for a walk hand in hand with our spouse.
I will be the first to admit I am guilty. I work hard for "things" that I want. I am not saying we should not have goals and work hard. There are two keys here: things and want. We should not sacrifice precious time better spent loving the people around us for things that we want but do not need.
I am right beside you when I say, next time I want something I will be thinking long and hard about the real cost. The cost of the stress it gives me, financially it burdens me, and time it takes from me to get it. Don't forget it is just a thing we will someday leave behind.