Sermon Illustrations

Swallowed Alive? (08.22.05--Under Pressure!--Genesis 25:32-33)

When you are captive to pressure, there are only two ways to go. You can either lose you temper and flail against the wind or you can wait it out and eventually overpower it.

I lost the chock to my power drill the other day. Without the chock the drill was pretty much useless. I was under pressure to finish the project I was working on. There were other things looming in the distance and I just had to find the chock, finish the drilling and move on. My first reaction was to tear apart the garage, flinging tools here and there, moving things and pushing them back without a thought as to where I was pushing or shoving. It was a good way of relieving the pressure. Yet, the pressure really wasn’t relieved since every time I looked up at the clock, that little hand kept moving around the dial. Then it struck me. Since cleaning the garage was one of the things on my “pressure” list, why not take the opportunity to clean it and, perhaps, in the cleaning I would find the chock, outwit the pressure and, of course, kill two birds with one stone. Good plan! The chock was found. I kept my demeanor. And, most importantly, I finished the work I needed to get done in the time allotted. Mark 1--Pressure 0. That’s the score I was looking for.

When you are under pressure, keeping it from consuming you before you can come up with a plan to defeat it, is the key. Pressure is deadly and, if you succumb to its plan, you will end up its dinner. Here is an instruction on how to react to hungry pythons, as given to Peace Corpsmen serving in Brazil -- “Remember not to run away, the python can run faster. The thing to do is to lie flat on the ground on your back with your feet together, arms at your side, head well down. The python will then try to push its head under you, experimenting at every possible point. Keep calm (that was underscored). You must let him swallow your foot. It is quite painless and it will take a long time. If you lose your head and struggle, he will quickly whip his coils around you. If you keep calm and still, he will go on swallowing. Wait patiently until he has swallowed up to about your knee. Then carefully take out your knife and insert it into the distended side of his mouth and with a quick rip slit him up.” (Resource, Sept./Oct., 1992.)

Giving into pressure is often a factor of how you plan to win the battle over it. Striving for short-term results might make the pressure greater. Worse yet, you might, in your impatience to relive the pressure, make that one fatal mistake that will give the pressure the opportunity to tighten its grip on you. When you are under pressure to decide or to take action, remember the “python” rule. Being swallowed alive is okay, as long as you and not the python is in command.

“Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own” (Matt 6:34)

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This Passing Day!

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