Today’s Word from Rev. David Bieniek…  

This reflection came to me in a dream the other night. I was visiting a friend who said she was in so much stress that she just needed a hug. Since I was not able to give her a hug, I walked her through this exercise.

I want you to imagine you are standing in a big tank, and it is filled. But instead of water, this tank is filled with stress. I would imagine that for most of us, this tank was already pretty full with the economic, political, and social stresses in our world along with the fear for the future of our environment. That isn’t even including your personal stresses. So, you were already feeling chest-high in stress. All of these stresses swirling around you like a whirlpool, trying to pull you down.

Then you add the stress of COVID-19, and we feel we are up to our eyeballs in stress. You are having to stand on tip-toe just to get a breath. Any more stress, and no wonder you feel you will drown. You need some relief. You need to be able to relax. But you see no way out of this stress tank. You feel trapped.

I want you to look down at the bottom of the tank, between your feet. Look down there, and notice a plug. There is a plug in the bottom of the tank. I want you to reach that plug and pull it! You may not be able to reach it with your hand, but try. Or maybe you have to pull it with your toe, but pull it!

As soon as you pull that plug, feel the stress begin to flow out! Feel yourself getting free of all that has been making you anxious, making you fearful, keeping you from feeling the love that is all around you. Allow the stress to just flow out!

When the stress level gets down to between your knee and your ankle, put the plug back in. As humans, we need a little stress in our life, or we become complacent. A little stress allows us to move into the future. A little stress keeps us moving, eating, and resting. But, especially now, an ankle-high level is enough stress.

This stress tank will refill for you. Perhaps it has already started, as you listen to the news, or put on your face mask, or think of lost friends or relationships. This tank will refill. But the wonderful thing is that you have the power to pull that plug any time you need to, and allow that stress to flow out, and get some relief.

As people of faith, we know that better days are coming. Good Friday is always followed by Easter Sunday. The darkest night is followed by a beautiful dawn. Our death on this planet leads to a beautiful life where we are reunited with those who have gone before us. Our God gives us the tools to drain our stress tank. We see God around us in those we love, in the beauty of nature, and in the tidbits of good news that renew our faith in this world and in humanity.

My hope for you today is that you are able to drain your personal stress tank, breathe a little easier, and be ready for the next day.

“So do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring worries of its own. Today’s trouble is enough for today.” Matthew 6:34

Rev. Dave Bieniek

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