When I was growing up my mom had a pressure cooker. She would put stew meat and water in it, tighten down the lid, place it on the stove and turn up the heat. On top of the pressure cooker sat a little valve that was designed to release the steam as it built up inside the pot. As the steam escaped it would make a hissing sound and spin around. It took a while for the pressure to build up inside the pot enough to cause this reaction, but when that little round doodad started spinning and hissing you knew things were really cooking inside the pot and you didn’t want to put your hand too close to that escaping steam or you might get burned.
Sometimes I’m like that pressure cooker. I start off trying to be patient and handle things on my own. (Here’s my first red flag, right?) But as the pressure builds up and the heat increases, that is when the trouble comes. Gradually I start spewing and hissing. My head doesn’t spin around, but my blood pressure rises and I begin to lose my cool. Unfortunately, the ones who usually get the brunt of it are those who are the closest to me, my family. In my case it usually isn’t anger that causes the spewing, it is frustration, but the result is similar. I may be putting pressure on myself because I can’t do everything I want to do (we won’t get into my poor time management skills in this post…). I may be upset because things are not going the way I anticipated them to go. I may be frustrated by a lack of cooperation by others. The conditions do not really matter, the important thing is that I let it all build up inside until I reach a boiling point and the pressure causes an inevitable explosion. The results of the explosion, unlike the results of the pressure cooker, are not pleasant.
Maybe I should try to be more like the crock pot. It cooks on low the whole day. Slowly simmering but not usually boiling, the crock pot takes its time and evenly paces itself so that at the end of the day everything is ready and there has been no explosive burst.
“Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your graciousness be known to everyone. The Lord is near. Don’t worry about anything, but in everything, through prayer and petition with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses every thought, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:4-7
Peace to you,