Today being Sunday, it was time for my family and I to go on our family hike. We headed out to a part of town that has an awesome 3.5 mile bike trail that is ranges from flat to hills. The girls like it because they can take the dog and great really far ahead of their brother and us parents. We started this hike in perfect formation, making sure to keep an eye on the ever so heavy looking clouds in the sky. Pretty close to the turn around point is when it started to downpour. By the time we got to the car we were cold, soaked and ready to have hot cocoa at home. While waiting for the tea pot to start “screaming” my middle daughter blurted out “well we know, once it starts screaming it’s done!” This got me thinking of how often this is true about so many other things.
I read a book once about anger and how people can be compared to volcanoes when it comes to how much they can handle before they “blow”. I was curious as to what kind of volcano I was so I took the test and I came out a composite volcano. Basically I am Mt. Shasta, or Mt. Rainier when it comes to my temper. I usually don’t get mad or upset at the small things but instead, I let them build up which sometimes causes little cracks in my composure. Then one day I just blow up! I scream , I stomp, I huff and I puff until all of the “mad” is gone and then I go back to my normal self. Usually this is when the kids go to their rooms, the hubby goes to the garage and the dog looks at me like I am made of broccoli (he hates broccoli). So how do I deal with this? I would tell you that talking about it helps, and it does but usually a long walk, or good housecleaning to calm down has to come first. By the way have you ever noticed how much you can get done when you are mad?
A sermon I listened to a few weeks ago talked about the pressures of life and how you deal with them. So often when people are under pressure the urge to scream is there. The response that you have to those pressures will reveal what you believe about the outcome. Winston Churchill, during World War 2 when Nazi Germany had taken over all of Europe and France had fallen, had been interviewed and asked what he had to offer he said “all we have is our blood, toil, tears and sweat, our aim is victory!” He believed in the outcome of victory. There are so many things that we cannot control in our lives. The wind, how others think and act towards us, but if we focus on what we can control, like our actions will become the foundation of who we are. I encourage you to listen to the full sermon, it is encouraging and full of insight on how to look for what you can control in the situations you face.
A saying I heard was this “People don’t often change with permission but with pressure” Think about this for a minute and maybe re-read it. People usually will stay with the status quo until they can’t. A friend of mine was told that she had cancer, for as long as I have known her she had talked about getting healthier, eating better, exercising more. She is now forced into eating better and trying to have a more well balanced life because of a “pressure” that has come into her life.
Take our current situation with the COVID-19 pandemic, it started out with us being able to have some liberties on what we could do socially, with our jobs, how we dress, how we wash our hands..etc. As hours, days, weeks have gone by those liberties have changed due to the “pressures” of more and more people getting sick and the goal of flattening the curve overwrites the liberties that we want to have. Most of what is happening is out of our control on what we are allowed to do. I would love go back to church and be with my church family, since I can’t right now podcasts/streaming are getting me through. My kids are already missing school, but we are making schedules and doing supplemental assignments to get us by. I would love to go to work and not have to wear a mask or worry about who I come in contact with and if they are healthy. I would love to not have to go out to people’s cars to get their pets (especially when it is raining/snowing), making sure they know we’ll take good care them but they need to stay in their vehicles. This too shall pass and the mash wearing days will get behind us, I can’t control this but I can control how I respond (even if there are days I drive to a park first before going home just to scream and let it all out).
Jorj is my super sweet, lovable, bed hogging, please throw the ball for me dog. When he was a year old he started to have seizures. He started out having one every 6 months and then something clicked and he started to have 5-8 grand mal cluster seizures a week. We did bloodwork which let us know we had a super healthy dog. Since he was having so many seizures, we started using medications to help slow them down. We started with one, experimented with two others, and eventually added on 3, including one to help support his liver because another one of his medications was starting to effect his liver. The seizures started to slow down with the medications and we have managed to get them down to one every 3-6 weeks, but let me tell you the pressure was there, it is still there but we know this is the new normal. We can’t control why this is happening to our Jorj, but we can control how we react to it. He is still our super sweet, lovable, bed hogging, please throw the ball for me dog. He just has seizures, we support him with love first and foremost, but also with a special food and medications. He gets to be a dog and we get to share life with him
There are times when the urge to scream is there, when the pressure is on and we just have to put our head down and walk forward knowing that this too shall pass. As we are approaching Easter, think of the pressures that Christ had to face as he was led into the city, people all around singing “Hallelujah” while laying down palms and their cloaks, knowing that in a weeks time those same people would be chanting “crucify him, crucify him!” The pressure was so real that while praying for God’s will to be done he perspired drops of blood. He knew that outcome would be that there would be no separation between us and Him for those who believed, and because of that He died for us. Talk about pressure, I am so very grateful that He did this for me, for you, for everyone who believes, I am thankful that he didn’t succumb to the pressures, and just skip town. This brings the hope of Easter, and for that I am extremely thankful. Until next time:
For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotton Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. John 3:16