When I get my nails done, the manicurist tells me multiple times to relax. Every pedicurist gets a forewarning that I’m a little jumpy and ticklish.
Today, on a visit to the chiropractor, I got the same thing. “Relax,” the doctor kept saying.
The more someone tells me to relax the more difficult it is. The funny thing is — I don’t think I feel that tense. Yet, my body and muscles tense when I’m in a situation that needs for me breathe deeply and kick back.
I think this idea to relax is something I need to do more often, but I honestly don’t know how. Even now as I write about being tense I can feel the muscles in my shoulders and neck knot up.
There’s something physiological going on. When someone tells me to relax, I’m usually in a situation that causes me a little stress. The skin on my hands is fragile and it can easily get cut and bleed. It freaks me out at the nail salon to bleed.
When I go to the chiropractor, I’m there because my muscles are tense, I’m having issues with misaligned bones bothering and irritating my muscles. And, I don’t really enjoy the manipulations.
Perhaps I need these people to tell me something else. Perhaps I need to tell them a few things. Set some expectations.
When Jesus tells us to relax, he doesn’t choose words that command. He says, “Consider.”
Consider how the flowers grow; they do not work or spin. Yet I tell you, not even Solomon in all his glory was clothed like one of these! And if this is how God clothes the wild grass, which is here today and tomorrow is tossed into the fire to heat the oven, how much more will he clothe you, you people of little faith!Luke 12:27-28
He uses the story to take people’s minds from the command and delivers a better way to think about things. Obviously, Jesus is talking about worry and anxiety here. He’s encouraging people to look to the Kingdom of God and not just the day to day.
Maybe a better way to get me to relax is to talk to me about something else, encourage me to breathe, and to set the expectations for what is about to happen. Love,
I cannot relax on command