Wednesday, August 19, 2015

From Stressed to Steadfast

James 1:2-4 "Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing."

Dried leaves, blossoms, and buds blanketed in an opaque linen sachet hardly seems remarkable. Enter a delicate bone China cup filled with one of the most common compounds on the planet at lightly rolling boil. Introduce the demure sachet to the cup's contents and let your senses of sight and smell be awed as the clear water becomes jeweled onyx, amber, topaz or jade and the earthy scent of earl grey, chamomile or matcha rises from the heat energy.
This process is the embodiment of eustress. If the satchel is never submersed in the water brimming with heat energy, the full potential of the contents is never released.

Stress gets an overall bad rap. Psychologists tell us humans require a certain amount of challenge and trial to stretch into our full potential. 
The same is true of the physical body. I recently returned to lifting weights. I carefully temper a balance between eustress (good pushing though a few more reps) and distress (causing injury to my arms or legs). I know if I don't press into some tired effort I will see no change into body or endurance. 

Sometimes the growth is gradual, and sometimes it is rapid like being scathed in a rolling boil. As of late I feel like I have been "in hot water" for a while. So while I am steeping I will hold in mind that it is the only way to become steadfast.


  1. Such beautiful writing! I recently started lifting weights through a new workout class I'm taking. I love it. Great analogy with the tea bag!! I also chuckled at the graphic. Perfect!

  2. Hot water image is a fun one. Thanks for introducing me to the word eustress-beneficial stress. I like the new side to stress and the fact that steadfastness is part of the equation.