I was chatting with a 67 year old man who lives in a rented flat just across the Church.
As we talked, his mind slipped back into the past some twenty years ago. He said he had made some grave mistakes. He had done certain things in his younger days, which he deeply regrets. His wife has divorced him and all his four children have left him.
As he recalled those painful memories, tears began to well up in his eyes. It hurts him too much to hold on to those memories for so long.
As he wiped off teardrops that rolled down his cheeks, we sat in silence for a long while.
It was my way of saying “It’s all right if you don’t wish to talk anymore about your past.” The weight of pain is obviously too much for him to bear. I assured him it’s okay to put it down for now.
A day later, someone sent me a video clip.
A psychologist paced around a room as she spoke about managing stress to an audience.
She raised a glass of water. Everyone expected she would ask the classic question: “Is the glass half empty or half full?” But instead, she smiled and asked, “How heavy is this glass of water?”
The audience’s guesses ranged between 100 and 500 gm.
“The actual weight of this glass has no real significance. What does matter is how long I hold the glass.”
“If I hold it for a minute, it doesn’t feel so heavy. If I hold it for an hour, I’ll eventually start cramping up in arm. If I hold it for a whole day, my arm will probably numb up and feel paralyzed. In each case, the glass’ weight doesn’t change – But the longer I hold it, the heavier it gets.”
“Stress and anxiety are like a glass of water. If we stress about things for a short while, nothing happens. If we think about them a little longer, it starts to hurt. If we think about them all day, we will feel paralyzed – unable to do anything.”
She made clear:
“It’s important to remember to let go of whatever stresses you. So every evening, as early as possible, put away the stress you may have carried during the day. Don’t carry things throughout the evening and into the night. Remember to put down your glass of water.”
It hurts so much to hold so long.
Hebrews 12:1 NKJV “… let us lay aside every weight … and let us run with endurance …“