Are you feeling pressured?

I think most people would be familiar with Aesop’s old adage of The Tortoise & the Hare.

While there are valuable lessons in the original story, l recently found gems in looking at it from a different perspective.

Today, I’m enjoying an Aussie Bush tea that turns purple when infused.

What are you having today?

The Old Adage

The story is of two competitors running a race. One being the Hare & the other the Tortoise.

On the surface this race seems totally mismatched as the Hare has great speed & the Tortoise is slow.

But to the astonishment of all, the Tortoise actually wins the race!

Let’s take a look at each character shall we…

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The Hare

If you’re familiar with the story you may remember that the Hare is over confident, cocky & boastful in his capabilities of speed to out manoeuver any competitor he comes up against.

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The Tortoise

Where as the Tortoise is quiet, humble & has been overlooked as a competitor in a race of speed!

We see that as a competitor the Tortoise always keeps his end destination in focus as he deliberately plods towards the finish line.

Not concerned with the pressure to win the race with haste.

So what can we learn?

If we look at the original adage, it was a warning against pride in being over confident & cocky in one’s abilities that will often lead to a fall.

It was also wise advice that those who have integrity & keep their eye on the goal will eventually win the race!

This has me thinking about the Apostle Paul’s encouragement to us in Phillipians 3:14;

“…press on toward the goal to win the [supreme and heavenly] prize to which God in Christ Jesus is calling us…”

What is this goal?

Paul is talking about the prize of spending eternity with God.

He’s also talking about our relationship with God in the here & now, maturing that relationship through Christ as we head towards the finish line. 

But life can get pretty tough at times, don’t you think!

And tough times can often lead us to become stressed…

Stress causes us to momentarily lose sight of the goal we’re heading towards.

Just as the Tortoise kept his focus on the finish line without wavering or getting distracted. 

Nor was he swayed by outside pressure or discouraged by his own limitations.

We also need to keep a pace that is uniquely ours without succumbing to pressure.

If you feel pressured then it’s time to stop & reassess

I’ve had to do this recently, as outside pressure grew to meet certain expectations. That I’m incapable of meeting at this time due to a challenging cycle with Fibromyalgia.

I had to stop & assess as to why I was feeling so ‘pressured’ by these expectations that I know I simply can not meet.

And I realised that the pressure of these expectations were revealing latent regrets deep within myself.

In not being able to live the life I had so desired to live at this time to help loved ones.

Just like the Tortoise in the adage, I’m slow in this season of my life & need to plod at my own pace.

Solution

And as the old hymn goes;

Turn Your Eyes upon Jesus

‘…look full into His wonderful face & the things of this Earth will grow strangely dim in the Light of His glory & grace!’ 

 by Helen Lemmel

I went to prayer & placed my focus once again upon Jesus, who restored peace to my soul!

Are you feeling pressured my friend? Then it’s time to stop & reassess.

Until next time,

Jennifer

You’re most welcome to join me in The Reading Nook


© 2022, Jennifer M. Ross, teawithjennifer.blog All Rights Reserved. Photos on Pexels.com 

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36 thoughts on “Are you feeling pressured?

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  1. This is so beautiful Jennifer, and I love your alternative perspective of this old, familiar tale…. As you said, when we’re experiencing these outside pressures, the best thing we can do is renew our focus on Jesus. I’m sorry to hear you’re having such a challenging time with Fibro right now. I hope your symptoms subside some for you soon. Sending gentle hugs your way sweet friend.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. I’m doing well, thanks! Sorry I haven’t popped by for a while. As you could probably tell, I’ve started a new blog — still wellness-focused, but more faith-oriented — and starting all over again has been a little time-consuming.😊 Now that things are settling down, I’ll be able to visit more often. Blessings to you!

        Liked by 1 person

  2. My spiritual director is always reminding me that things happen “little by slowly.” That helps a lot. My husband just finished reading a book about the Chunnel. I imagine that after a while those workers forgot that France was even the reason they were digging day after day. Sometimes struggling with chronic conditions can feel the same. May the light of God’s face shine on you reminding you that “they also serve who only stand and wait.”(Milton)

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Oh I needed your post today Jennifer! How easily the pressures of life distract us. I love your reminders of where to find peace. Thank you!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Hi Jennifer, its like you summerized my last couple of years!!!! I too had to stop and assess. The thing is, sometimes I know something is wrong but it takes me ages to figure it out. Probably because I am not seeking the Lord on it, and asking the right questions of myself. Great encouragement. I will definitely be popping over for a regular cuppa with you.
    God bless
    Tracy

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Silly as it sounds I often feel pressure to read all the library books I check out of the library and feel like I have failed if I have to return them unread! LOL. Sometimes I have to remind myself that reading is supposed to be fun and enjoyable and no one cares (but me!) if I’ve managed to read all the books I had hoped to. I can always just check them out again.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Great post and advice! Life can definitely throw curve balls we don’t know or see. I think everyone can agree that when life is good, we are all racing to see who gets at the finish line first. But I do believe it’s more important to go at your own pace. After all, who said life is a race? I know that listening to my body or my mind, has helped me take breaks and reassess. It’s such an important lesson and a valuable one at that.

    Maureen

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I too am very slow these days due to physical limitations, especially in climbing stairs. I started to call myself a snail, moving at a snail’s pace, but a friend said he prefers to think of me as the tortoise, so now I have a new name.

    I am not normally a person who gets stressed, but stress was threatening to jump on me because of constant phone calls from a couple of people I have known for years and who are both clinically depressed, plus one is, I believe, a paranoid schizophrenic. It was beginning to become a problem, especially when both called on the same night, both contemplating suicide, not really seriously I believe because they have indicated that they don’t really want to do it.

    So I am protecting myself now and when I need to rest, spend time in prayer or working on a project, I simply take the phone off the hook and otherwise wait until someone identifies herself on my answering machine. This also cuts out all the scam calls, political calls asking for donations and telemarketers. I talk when I want to, not just when others want to talk. It is very peaceful now. I choose when I take calls, and it is working out well. No hard feelings toward me, from either one. I think they are learning to respect me and my time. Praise the Lord!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Wonderful to hear you’re feeling more peaceful my friend.

      It’s important to have boundaries in all our relationships, respectively maintaining those boundaries for our mental & emotional well-being, isn’t it…

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Good advice here, Jennifer, as always. I’ve been stressed with a family situation the past 6 months, so I’m having to intentionally learn and put de-stressing tactics into daily practice. It’s not easy and sometimes feels like too much work, but in the end (and even daily) I know it is worth it.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Jennifer, thank you for the reminders you share here. Keeping our focus on Jesus, regardless of the expectations others place on us, is the key to winning our race. I appreciate the example you gave of stopping long enough to evaluate what was causing you to feel pressured, and what you discovered. We definitely need to assess the why’s behind what we feel sometimes.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. my mom struggled with fibro for years … i know it can be so discouraging. please know that i’m praying for you even as we speak, Jennifer. may you experience His loving comfort during those hardest of times.

    Liked by 1 person

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