Let Us Remember….
That we are in the Holy Presence of God.
Earlier this September I was watching Serena Williams play a match at the US Open. During an on-court interview after a win, when asked (and I’m paraphrasing here) about how she manages her tennis, fashion business, and motherhood, she answered with a quote written by another tennis great, Billie Jean King. She said “pressure is a privilege”. For Serena the pressure of center court, and the expectations on her to win is not something she takes lightly, in fact she considers it an honor, but it is also something she does not allow to defeat her.
Now let’s be clear, I am no Serena Williams. If you know me you no I am no athlete and if you’ve seen me you know that my wardrobe, full of hide the fat cardigans, is no match for Serena’s style and individualism. But like Serena I consider my life a privilege.
Look, pressure or stress or anxiety, or whatever you want to call it is a constant in our lives. We will never be without it. It makes us supremely uncomfortable, causes heart palpitations, sweating, hyperventilation, tears, and a number of other physiological responses from our nervous system. We have been taught from a young age that pressure is a terrible thing. But instead of being taught how to cope we have somehow gotten the message that in order to be happy, there should be sunshine and rainbows. Always. If not we are doing something wrong.
Let’s consider the pressure we are under…
Are you the first in your family to be on a college track?
Are the expectations high to be successful like your mother, father, sibling, etc?
Do you have to perform well at school and work a full time job because your income contributes to tuition and rent and food for your family?
Are you close with someone suffering from drug/alcohol/mental health issues?
Do you have a mental health issue of your own?
A learning disability?
Or are you simply a procrastinator, disorganized?
How about all of the above?
How can we stop focusing on our weaknesses, which stress us out, and focus on what we are good at? Is it as simple as saying I’m privileged to be here in this life, right now? With all the pressure that comes with it? I believe it takes owning our weaknesses but not letting them blind us to what we get right. It takes moving our weaknesses to the side or behind us. Don’t let them lead the way. Easier said than done, I know, but an honor and a privilege to even have the opportunity to try when so many others do not.
As we begin our testing, I’ll leave you with a final Serena quote: I just come out and do what I can.
Do what you can, try your best. It’s all that we can ask of ourselves.
Let us pray:
Slow me down, Lord!
Ease the pounding of my heart
By the quieting of my mind.
Steady my harried pace
With a vision of the eternal reach of time.
Amidst the confusions of my day,
The calmness of the everlasting hills.
Break the tensions of my nerves
With the soothing music
Of the singing streams
That live in my memory.
Remind me each day
That the race is not always won by the swift;
That there is more to life
Than increasing its speed.
Slow me down, Lord,
And inspire me to send my roots deep
Into the soil of life’s enduring values
That I may grow toward the stars
Of our greater destiny.
St. John Baptist de La Salle.
Pray for us…
Live Jesus in our hearts
Morning Prayer October 16, 2019 – Kristine Chapman, Social Studies Teacher