The term, “stretching ourselves too thin,” is more commonplace now than ever. It is not merely due to our fast-paced society, but a growing desire to be more and do more. This happens to parents at home, students at school, employees at the office, and leaders of all kinds. We’re either taking on more than we should or we’re being dumped on, thus trying to stretch ourselves further to accomplish something. In the process, we’re tempted to see ourselves as invincible as we burn the midnight oil, maximize our productivity, stretch every dollar, and exert all our energy. Unbeknownst to ourselves, we try to live a superhuman life to be all things to all people.
This reminds me of Stretch Armstrong, an action-figure toy of gel-filled plastic, first introduced in 1976. You can pull his arms and legs in any direction and actually stretch him up to four times his original size! The contortions of limbs variously intertwined can make you wonder or wince at the distortion of his identity. When he is stretched as far as possible, he doesn’t look right. Neither would we! Sadly, many people live as if they were Stretch Armstrong. Being stretched so often for so long, they resemble someone different, one who has now lost their mythical super-strength. Could this be you?
Whether made of gel-filled plastic or flesh and bones, one can only be stretched so far and retain both their identity and usefulness. There is a human desire to reach for more and this is good if boundaries are maintained. It is the constant stretching that is perilous to body, mind, and spirit, exacting a toll heretofore unexpected. It is not until we feel utterly exhausted that we realize how much we’ve been stretched. Knowing this, we can become more aware of our limits in regards to time, ability, and energy, and realistically practice healthy habits. The key is living a balanced life – easier said than done; yet this doesn’t just happen on its own. We need to make it happen!
So, what changes in your life can you start today?
To read more from Mike Medeiros you can visit his blog, Musings in the Middle, at https://mikemedeirosblog.wordpress.com/.
Our resolve must be different. My prayer is that we have finally reached a tipping point. My hope is that when the protests fade and the marches slow that our will as a church to truly eradicate the scourge of racism won’t dissipate but grows even stronger.”
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