What Gets Heavier the Longer You Hold It?

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Stress can be a killer. I tend to work better under stress or pressure (downside of this knowledge is knowing I can procrastinate) or as deadlines approach. Some stress I don’t mind and and can actually enjoy, such as the stress of playing a round of golf and having the opportunity to sink a birdie putt. Other types of stress can be down right debilitating, such as the stress of intense conflict, family crisis, financial uncertainty, going through a divorce or the death of a loved one, I could list many. The weight of unhealthy stress can have many negative consequences, depression, anxiety, high blood pressure, heart issues and more.

I read the article below as part of a Social & Emotional Intelligence certification program I was part of. It provides some practical and informative insights on the heaviness of stress and what we need to do to get out from under it.

How Much Does Stress Weigh?

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 20g to 500g. The lecturer replied, “The absolute weight doesn’t matter. It depends on how long you try to 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’ll have to call an ambulance. In each case, it’s the same weight, but the longer I hold it, the heavier it becomes.”

He continued, “And that’s 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. As with the glass of water, you have to put it down for a while and rest before holding it again. When we’re 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. Whatever burdens you’re carrying now, let them down for a moment if you can. Relax; pick them up later after you’ve rested. Life is short. Enjoy it!”

And then he shared some ways of dealing with the burdens of life:

  1. Accept that some days you’re the pigeon, and some days you’re the statue.
  2. Always keep your words soft and sweet, just in case you have to eat them.
  3. Drive carefully. It’s not only cars that can be recalled by their maker.
  4. If you can’t be kind, at least have the decency to be vague.
  5. If you lend someone $20 and never see that person again, it was probably worth it.
  6. Nobody cares if you can’t dance well. Just get up and dance.
  7. Since it’s the early worm that gets eaten by the bird, sleep late.
  8. When everything’s coming your way, you’re in the wrong lane.
  9. You may be only one person in the world, but you may also be the world to one person.
  10. Some mistakes are too much fun to make only once.
  11. We could learn a lot from crayons. Some are sharp, some are pretty and some are dull. Some have weird names, and all are different colors, but they all live in the same box.

Final Thoughts

Speaking from experience, I know stress is difficult, especially when its in the church. As a ministry it is important to keep a sense of humor, have friends you trust and take God seriously but not yourself.

As the writer of the article above says so wisely find time to rest and get refreshed. You are no good to yourself, your family or your church is you allow yourself to be crushed by holding the stress for too long.

Exodus 23:12: “You have six days each week for your ordinary work, but on the seventh day you must stop working. This gives your ox and your donkey a chance to rest. It also allows your slaves and the foreigners living among you to be refreshed.”

This week’s article is written by Rodney Cox, President of Ministry Insights and submitted by Russ Olmon, President, Ministry Advantage. For more on this and other helpful subjects, go to www.ministryadvantage.org

For over 20 years Ministry Advantage has been one of the premier church resources that provides coaching and training for pastors and church leaders helping them turn their vision into reality.

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