A lecturer, when explaining stress management to an audience, raised a glass of water and asked, “How heavy is this glass of water?” Answers called out ranged from 20 grams to 500 grams. The lecturer replied, “The absolute weight doesn’t matter. It depends on how long you hold it. If I hold it for a minute, that’s not a problem. If I hold it for an hour, I’ll have an ache in my right arm. If I hold it for a day, you will have to call an ambulance. In each case, it’s the same weight. However, the longer I hold it, the heavier it becomes.”
He continues, “And that is the way it is with stress management. If we carry our burdens all the time, sooner or later, as the burden becomes increasingly heavy, we won’t be able to carry on. When we are refreshed, we can carry on with the burden. So, before you return home tonight, put the burden of work down. Don’t carry it home. You can pick it up tomorrow!”
That’s good advice. If you never stop, you can’t restart! Sometimes, we have to come apart or we will…come apart! Here’s some wisdom for the overly stressed. Since it’s the early worm that gets eaten by the early bird, sleep late! Many folk’s lives today are like a billiard table with balls all over the board. From time to time, take the time to re-rack the billiard balls. Got the message?
Jesus taught stress management. Remember the story about when the disciples were in the middle of a sea, in the middle of the night and in the middle of the perfect storm? I’ll bet their blood pressure was 190 over 130. Then Jesus appears, walking on water. They thought it was a ghost. Let’s review. It’s the middle of the night, in the middle of the perfect storm, in the middle of the sea and now they have a ghost walking around on water. Blood pressure rising! Now it’s 210 over 150!
Yet, even in the middle of the perfect storm, Jesus was there. His calm words were, “Take courage, it is I; do not be afraid” In fact, there are 365 times in the Bible that God says, “Do not be afraid.” We probably need that every day of the year. In today’s lingo it would read something like, “Surf’s up…cool it dudes…situation under control!” Sure enough, the storm calmed right down. Don’t let the storm on the outside of you get inside of you! Great advice for the storm challenged and overly stressed, huh?
Jesus’ advice was to relax, take a break, and rerack the billiard balls (get proper perspective) when life gets too stressed. He says in Matthew 6, “Instead of looking at the fashions, walk out into the fields and look at the wildflowers. They never primp or shop, but have you ever seen color and design quite like it? The ten best-dressed men and women in the country look shabby alongside them. If God gives such attention to the appearance of wildflowers-most of which are never even seen-don’t you think that He will attend to you, take pride in what you do and do His best for you? What I’m trying to say here is relax, to be not so occupied with getting, so you can respond to God’s giving.”
My advice, when life gets too stressed is put down the glass, come apart so you don’t come apart, sleep late and remember there is one less early worm.
Church-Community Connection is published weekly in 10 newspapers all over the world. Most of these newspapers are local paid subscription newspapers. The goal of these 450 word articles is to build a bridge to the community through humor, wisdom and changing mental perceptions that the community has of the church.