Toss a small pebble into a still pond and it will make a quiet splash with a large ripple effect. Soon after, the water returns to the calm state that was before. Have you noticed that still water never over or under-reacts?
Water’s reaction is a metaphor for life.
Some people throw a pebble-sized problem into the pond of your life and attempt to make you react as if it’s cannonball-sized.
They expect to create a major ripple and lasting upset.
Learning to respond to situations without over or under-reacting is one key to living a life with less stress.
Think about it—Jesus never over or under-reacted.
When the religions leaders were trying to stone a woman caught in adultery, Jesus wrote in the sand to defuse the entire situation. Then he said, “You who are without sin throw the first stone.”
David Allen (author of “Getting Things Done” ) has a strategy to deal with reactions.
“Anything that causes you to overreact or under react can control you, and often does. Responding inappropriately to your email, your projects, your unread magazines, your thoughts about what you need to do, your children, or your boss will lead to less effective results than you’d like.
Most people give either more or less attention to things than they deserve.”
A Metaphor For Life
My friend Randy is a karate sensei. In karate, there is an image that’s used to define the position of perfect readiness: “Mind like water.”
The high levels of training in the martial arts teach and demand balance and relaxation as much as anything else.
The power in a karate punch comes from speed, not muscle; it comes from a focused “pop” at the end of the whip.
It’s why petite grandmothers can learn to break boards and bricks with their hands: it doesn’t take calluses or brute strength, just the ability to generate a focused thrust with speed.
But a tense muscle is a slow one.
Calming the mind and being flexible is key to success.
“You’ll do best by filling your minds and meditating on things true, noble, reputable, authentic, compelling, gracious—
the best, not the worst;
the beautiful, not the ugly;
things to praise, not things to curse.
Do that, and God, who makes everything work together, will work you into his most excellent harmonies.” Philippians 4:8,9 (The Message)
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