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From September Newsletter:

(An excerpt from message shared on Sunday July 9, 2017- as requested) 

Do the burdens of life get in our way of living life to its fullest? Jesus says, “Come to me and I will give you rest.”

A couple of years ago I attended a conference on stress management. At one point the speaker raised a glass of water and asked, "How heavy is this glass of water?" Answers called out ranged from 8 ounces to 20 ounces. He 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, I might have to go to the hospital.  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. If we carry our burdens all the time, sooner or later, the burden will become increasingly heavy, and 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 dealing with the burden. So, before you return home tonight, put the burden of work/life 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.” He makes a good point. I try to do that - I’m not always very good at it, but I try. I am definitely preaching to myself today! I have a friend and colleague who is a Pastoral Therapist and he tells his clients to try to put their issues, their problems, their burdens in a box and symbolically take them out only when they are ready to address them and close the box so they can try to go in life focusing on other things. Our two year-old grandchildren, Luca and Everly are helping me do this.   I can be having a very challenging day or a difficult period of time dealing the burdens of life, mine as well as trying to bear the burdens of others, and I’ll just look at their faces and their smiles and listen to their laughter or even just look at a picture and if even just for a few moments I am reminded to put the burdens down and that love and hope are alive.  You see, when we hold on to our burdens - the worries, concerns, heartaches, that’s when stress builds up and we start caving in. At that same conference on stress we all received a list - 10 ways of dealing with the burdens of life - some ways to help us avoid getting overburdened.

 

  1. Accept that some days you're the pigeon, and some days you're the statue.  Accept it!
  2. We could learn a lot from crayons. Some are sharp, some are dull. Some have weird names and all are different colors, but they all live in the same box. Be understanding of others.
  3. Prayer is not a "spare wheel" that you pull out when in trouble, but it is a "steering wheel" that directs the right path throughout the journey. Pray.
  4. If you lend someone $20 and never see that person again, it was probably worth it. Let it go.
  5. Never buy a car you can't push. Be reasonable.
  6. Never put both feet in your mouth at the same time, because then you won't have a leg to stand on.  Be wise.
  7. Birthdays are good for you. The more you have, the longer you live. Celebrate.
  8. All things in life are temporary.  If things are     going well, enjoy it, they will not last forever. If things are not going well, don’t worry, they will not last forever either.  Relax.
  9. A truly happy person is one who can enjoy the scenery on a detour. Observe and listen. AND. .
  10. Worrying does not take away tomorrow's troubles, it takes away today’s peace. Be at peace.

 

All good advice! The theologian Soren Kierkegaard has his own way of dealing with the burdens of life and finding peace. Kierkegaard says,

 

“To you, O God, we turn for peace. . .but grant us also the blessed assurance that nothing shall deprive us of that peace, neither ourselves, nor our foolish earthly desires, nor wild longings, nor the anxious cravings of our hearts.”

                                               With love,

                                                     John