Thanks to Physics I and II, I can accurately use the word “isobaric.” Any other science-types out there? You know what I mean. The technical definition for “isobaric” is a process within a system that is carried out under constant pressure. You see, I planned to finish this blog last semester, but I suppose the “pressure got to me,” and I couldn’t find the time to finish it off. In fact, I forgot about this blog, until just recently. If I had to pick a word to describe last semester, it would be “isobaric.”
However, this past week certainly reminded me of what the pressure feels like. Maybe you’ve had a week like me, or maybe a month, or maybe there’s always been constant pressure in your life. In that case, this post is for you. If not, then go ahead and keep reading, because a time will come when the pressure comes from all sides.
Well what kind of pressure am I talking about? I’m definitely not going to talk about the “Newtons per square meter” pressure that the beginning of this post implied, but rather social and religious pressures, especially those for college-age kids, because, well, I fall into that category of “college-age kid.”
I suppose most social pressures boil down to an expectation to succeed in life, whatever that may look like for your particular situation. In mine? Well, the pressure to succeed in school, or maybe the pressure to succeed on the soccer field, or perhaps to succeed where I work. Either way, I think we can all pinpoint areas in our life where we have felt pressure before and can reasonably expect to feel it again.
Just a little caveat before I get into the bones of the blog: more often than naught, we bring pressure upon ourselves in two ways. One: We say yes to way too much stuff (Or at least I do…) and for some reason we think we have the capability to handle all those things we said yes to (Or at least I certainly do…). Two: We create fictitious pressures by placing unreal expectations on ourselves.
Don’t get me wrong, I also think that there are tangible pressures out there that we all experience, that aren’t made up or brought upon ourselves. They are pressures created by living in a real world with real people and real deadlines, and those pressures need to be handled appropriately as well.
None of the following three thoughts are very original, but I hope that I can articulate to someone out there who hasn’t heard what I have happened to hear on this particular subject, especially as finals are fast approaching. Plus, we all need to learn to preach to ourselves, and what does it matter if what we preach is original or not? It helps nonetheless. So what have I learned to preach to myself whenever I feel the pressure?
1.) I’ve been here before…
When was the last time you felt this way? What happened? Did you die from the pressure? No, probably not. You’re reading this blog right now, so I imagine you’ve made it through tough situations. And I bet you’ll make it through more.
2.) I’m not that important…
I think a lot of the pressure we bring upon ourselves, as I was saying earlier, occurs when we think too highly of our self. When I think that my team absolutely needs me to finish the project, pressure begins to build when I don’t get the project done. In reality? Your team doesn’t need you. They don’t. Surprise! Yeah, it would be nice if you were there helping them out, but if you were incapacitated, they would, in fact, carry on. If you were to turn in that research paper late, would the world stop spinning and descend into chaos and terror? No, I don’t think so. In the grand scheme of history, you and I are really not that important. As harsh as it sounds, isn’t it somewhat relieving? I know for me it is.
3.) I’m better under pressure…
I think of the old adage, “No pressure, no diamonds.” Great things happen under pressure. Think of the last game-winning basket, touchdown, goal, or whatever, you saw on TV. When people are put under pressure, they produce something. When people are squeezed, what’s on the inside makes its way to the outside. So what’s going on inside? Will it produce something great?
You see, I am able to say these things to myself because there has already been someone who underwent the greatest pressure expererienced by any human being, so much so, that he started sweating his own blood. He shouldered the greatest burden, and conquered even death. It’s because of him that we can preach all three of these things to ourselves.
1.) “I’ve been here before… and Christ has delivered me from the previous pressure, and he will do it again.”
2.) “I’m not that important… because I don’t have to be. I am allowed to be a nobody, because Christ was a somebody.”
3.) “I’m better under pressure… because Christ is in me, and when I feel squeezed, I know Christ becomes more evident. So bring on the pressure!”
It’s not about us, or our momentary troubles; rather it’s about Christ, and what he can do with our lives if we simply turn to him.
I’ll leave you with a verse. This is Paul writing to a church about some pressure-inducing experiences he had…
“We were under great pressure, far beyond our ability to endure, so that we despaired of life itself. Indeed, we felt we had received the sentence of death. But this happened that we might not rely on ourselves but on God, who raises the dead. He has delivered us from such a deadly peril, and he will deliver us again. On him we have set our hope that he will continue to deliver us…” – 2 Corinthians 1:8-10
Please note that the three points come from a sermon by Pastor Steven Furtick. It’s an excellent sermon, and one I continue to listen to whenever I feel the pressure. Titled “I’m Better Under Pressure,” it can be found by clicking the link below…
Feedback, people! I love it, and I’d like to hear from you guys on this subject.
For my fellow college students, where have you found the pressure to be greatest in your own life?
What are some good ways to handle pressure, practically speaking, and what are some bad ways?
Do you tend to ignore pressure when it comes, or do you attempt to handle it as soon as it appears?