Stretched or Brittle

This past week, I read a discussion online that Cindy, an online friend of mine started. The analogy jumped out at me and got me thinking as I hope it will for you too. Here is the analogy she wrote (duplicated with her permission of course):

Rubber bands come in all shapes, sizes, widths and multiple colors. They can look pretty in a huge ball of various colors or sitting in a container, but in essence they are only effective if they are stretched beyond their original form.

Imagine if you will (humor me on this) they are having a conversation while sitting in this beautiful container. They are telling one another they want to be used for greatness, but when the opportunity arises, they decide sitting in their original form looks and feels better. They don’t really want to reach their greatest potential. This dialog goes on for years until one day they are dried up, brittle and no longer useful.

We humans are no different. Much like rubber bands, if we allow ourselves to sit and look pretty, never allowing the stretching process to take place, we dry up and become brittle. But if we allow ourselves to be moved beyond our original form, out of our comfort zone, the potential is endless.

I’d like to take this analogy and stretch it (pun intended) even further and say that if we don’t allow or push ourselves to have points in our life that we are stretched and points that we are relaxed, then we will dry up and become brittle.

On my desk at work a few years ago, I joined four rubber bands in the shape of a cross all joined in the middle, and I thought it looked neat, however I left it like that for about six months. When I ultimately took the cross apart, all four rubber bands broke where they had been stretched and not allowed to relax.

It is the same with humans. If we remain relaxed for too long or stretched for too long, then we will dry up or become brittle, or we will reach a point where we snap.

Regular spiritual rest, which can happen with relaxed consistent Bible study, can provide an adequate source of rest or relaxed points in your day that goes beyond simply sleeping to get physical and mental rest. On a weekly and monthly cycle, taking a complete day out of every week to rest and refocus is vital for our spiritual health, and on a yearly cycle, taking at least two weeks off will help push a little relaxed time into our often too busy lives.

In your life how, are you being stretched out of your comfort zone and how are you planning points of regular rest while this happens?

However, some of us may not have been stretched in a while. If this is you, what are some ways you can intentionally stretch yourself? What are some ways to stretch, or step, out of your comfort zone? Do you need to step out and volunteer your time to help someone else? Or perhaps, maybe now is the time to stretch and learn something new?

There is one big difference between humans and rubber bands though, and it is best described with this quote: “Man’s mind, once stretched by a new idea, never regains its original dimensions.” ~Oliver Wendell Holmes (US author & physician – 1809 – 1894). When we stretch our knowledge and our abilities then relax, we will never shrink back to our original form—Once we learn or experience something new, we will never ‘shrink’ back to how we were before.

Have an excellent weekend and take some time during it to relax (or stretch) so you don’t become brittle.


P.S. Did I miss something, or would you like to respond on this topic? Join the conversation below!