This world is full of pressures, health, wealth, job, time, kids, crime, injustice…the list goes on and on. But you have probably noticed that some people seem to float through life without being ruffled or stressed. What is that about? Are they not noticing all that there is to worry about? Don’t they care? Have they just become calloused? Maybe they have just realised there are two kinds of pressure.
Internal pressure and external pressure.
First let me tell you a quick story. (caution, this is a stressful story, not recommended for delicate hearts). There were 3 individuals who were going to be executed all at the same time. The first person was totally taken over by emotions, as you could well imagine looking death straight in the face. Their reation was overwhelming and they lay in a foetal postion, sobbing; the external pressure had been internalised and fully taken it’s toll.
The second individual felt pity for the first and rather than focus on the prediciment ahead chose to try and comfort the first, still knowing the same fate awaited them. The external pressure was deferred.
The third person had faith in a loving and kind God who wanted the best for all of the three. Seizing the oppurturity to not only help the first individual whith the extreme grief but also giving the second the oppurtunity to know this benevolent God face to face. A path was set to not focus on the impending external pressure (execution), but instead to focus on an oppurtunity to help the others by sharing faith and create a chance to finish their physical lives with eternal hope and confidence.
PERSONALLY I DON’T KNOW HOW I WOULD REACT IN THIS SITUATION! AND I HOPE THIS BLOG DOESN’T TRAUMATISE ANYONE WHO HAS GONE THRU THIS LEVEL OF STRESS.
My aim is to help understand external and internal pressure. I believe external pressure is all those things that happen to us, much of which is out of our of control. The internal pressure is what we do with those external pressures. How we percieve the circumstances in life that come our way every day and what implications they will have on us (real or imagined).
How do you handle pressure?
What helps me is to first ask myself “Is it a situation that I can alter in anyway and what can I do?” Second I ask myself “Does it really matter?” Then I quickly think about the future…”Will my response change the future in a positive or negitive way?” Then I do what I can, hoping it will be positive, and I pray.
As Easter has just passed and some of you would have heard the story of Jesus being executed on a cross. In some of the visuals you will notice there are 3 crosses. The Biblical story tells of the other 2 men who were being executed at the same time as Jesus. One had compassion for the innocent man (Jesus) being executed. One man didn’t care about anyone, not even himself.
Some internal pressure is the result of pain, either physical, emotional or spiritual. Pain has a purpose. Physical pain tells us something is not right with our bodies and we need to get it checked out. Emotional pain can be more complex but with the help of friends, family, pastor or a trained therapist usually we can understand and reduce this internal pain. Spiritual pain is also complex but often comes from our thoughts or deeds that cause our moral compass to go awry. This pain can be reduced by bringing these thoughts or deeds into the light, that is talk about them with someone who is trustworthy. Pray together, ask God to get involved. This will certainly help reduce the internal pressure and you can be one of those laid back people who in times of trouble, you can help others instead of focusing on your own problems.