Chapter 156 [day 273]: Wednesday 16 December
HOARDING OR RECYCLING STRESS
Good morning all
Yesterday was our weekly bin collection day although we only put our bins out on alternate weeks as we don’t generate enough waste to even fill one black bag per week let alone a big wheelie bin. We actually seem to put more into the recycling bin than in the general refuse.
I have often said to the younger generation that they don’t need to lecture anyone over the age of 60 about recycling – it’s how we were brought up by parents and grandparents; never throw anything away that might have use in the future. A few weeks ago, Karen went into our garage looking for something and when she came back in the house, asked me ‘why do you keep all the wood and other things across the rafters?’ I explained that everything there might prove useful at some time although at this stage I couldn’t be specific. When I need to dispose of broken or worn-out items, I always check if there is any part that could be useful such as cutting off and keeping perfectly good cable and plugs from electrical appliances. I only throw out old footwear if you can practically see daylight through the sole, but even then, if the laces are still good, I’ll remove them (just in case they could be reused in the future!).
Now please don’t label me as mean fella – it’s the way I was brought up. My grandfather was a builder, painter and decorator by trade and his shed was packed to the ceiling with old cupboard doors, old paint cans and lengths of timber and who knows what else underneath. Hoarding can become an obsession and you’ve probably seen programmes on TV where a team will go into a house that is packed in every room with ‘junk’. I think my hoarding is under control as from time to time I do make a trip to the Tip with a carload of stuff that I have finally decided doesn’t have any future use.
All of us are guilty of hoarding stuff – worry and stress can be the worst and particularly this year as so many people are burdened with worry leading to stress and stress can become a killer. The burden of stress or worry gets heavier the longer we hold on to it. The weight of unhealthy stress can have many negative consequences, depression, anxiety, high blood pressure, heart issues and more.
So how much does stress weigh? A lecturer explaining stress management to an audience raised a glass of water and asked, “How heavy is this glass of water?” Answers ranged from 20g to 500g. The lecturer replied, “The absolute weight doesn’t matter. It depends on how long you try to hold it.” “If I hold it for one minute, that’s not a problem. If I hold it for an hour, I’ll have a serious ache in my right arm. If I hold it for a day, you’ll have to call an ambulance. 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 hold on to our burdens all the time, sooner or later, as the burden becomes increasingly heavy, we won’t be able to carry on. As with the glass of water, we have to put the burden down or it will put us down.”
Fortunately for the Christian, Jesus comes to the rescue of those with burdens of stress, so often through hoarding bad memories or experiences. Jesus said -
Matthew 11:28 - Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.
1 Peter 5:7 - Cast all your burdens and anxiety on him because he cares for you.
And remember, God does not hoard or recycle our failures, troubles and problems. He disposes of them just like the bin wagon disappearing down the street and we’ll never see our garbage again.
Micah 7:9 - God will cast all our transgressions into the depths of the sea and Psalm 103:12 - As far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our transgressions from us.
Now in today’s environmentally aware society, it may seem wrong for all our bad stuff to be dumped into the ocean so an alternative analogy could be that all our transgressions are dropped into the largest Black Hole in space from which nothing can ever escape.
So let’s learn to let go our stress and allow the Lord take the problem from our weary shoulders. And remember if we trust in Him, our times are in His hands >>> MY TIMES ARE IN YOUR HANDS (Psalm 31)
· Although we have been advertising carol singing at the front of the Chapel for this coming Sunday evening and repeated on Christmas Eve, we now realise we can’t do it within the official safety guidelines, so unfortunately both carol singing sessions are now cancelled.
· This Sunday morning’s Carol service will take place subject to normal restrictions and we do need to re-emphasise the importance of not mingling and chatting whilst inside the Chapel building. If you have not yet booked your seat for Sunday, please let us know.
· This Sunday morning will be the final Chapel service until mid-January (subject to any further changes in lockdown restrictions in the meantime) so that those of you who are planning to meet up with family over Christmas have adequate time to safely isolate into the new year.
· There will also not be the traditional service on Christmas Day for the same reason.
It’s sad that so much of our normal Christmas activity has had to be cancelled for this year and we’ve heard from many of you that, like us, come Christmas Eve after you’ve exchanged presents on the doorstep, you’ll be locking the front door and spending the rest of Christmas on your own with a box of goodies!
We’ll hopefully be in touch again on Sunday afternoon to share the video service from Sunday morning, especially for those of you who cannot attend in person.