This is an assembly about taking it easy. Not being lazy but keeping in balance as much as you can!
The movie clip ideas and the script from Only Fools and Horses are there to illustrate the words of Jesus saying he won't lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on people. So in the examples, things don't fit or are the wrong clothes etc. All this is to illustrate that we can wear 'the wrong clothes' and this makes us feel stressed. Yet Jesus gives us a better way. There are also some hints about handling stress from online medical studies.
Use as much / as little as you can / want to. Or let it inspire you to other ideas!
One of the things we all have to face is stress. It comes at you from all directions - school, work, family, friends, stuff that happens in the world, illness, death, your own pressure you put on yourself and the pressures that society puts on you to fit in and to look good.
Magazines, celebrities and TV often create a perfect (and totally fake) standard that you have to live up to. One model explained how she left modeling because it was all so fake - hours having hair done, makeup, then using Photoshop to change images - all for the so-called 'perfect' shot that people then try to copy.
But life isn't just about what you look like as that's just the surface stuff - it's about who you are on the inside! If we spent less time trying to look perfect we'd probably be less stressed!
Effects of Stress
Stress is linked to many medical and psychological problems. Just some of these include: depression, heart problems, back pain, not being able to breathe properly, muscle tension, stomach problems, not being able to sleep, being really angry and even withdrawing from friends and social stuff.
If left unchecked it can lead to really serious conditions such as diabetes, heart attack, high blood pressure and obesity. Stress has even been linked by some to cancer and early death. At the least it doesn't help and means you're not as happy as you were designed to be.
So if we can minimise stress, it's a really good thing!!
Movie Clip Idea 1 - The suit doesn't fit...
Iron Man - Chapter 5. Time: 00:38:32 (big explosion) - 00:40:20 (after soldier says 'next time you ride with me OK?' and plane lands at airport).
The point here is that it's been a stressful day for Tony Stark who's just had to escape from the Taliban and been blown out of the air after the iron man suit he made fails.
Movie Clip Idea 2 - The Granny disguise
Mr Bean's Holiday - 1:05:25 (Mr Bean's car drives past a wanted poster) - 1:07:45 (before it cuts to the movie theatre). Or continue until 1:09:01 (after Mr Bean runs away from the security guard)
In this clip, Mr Bean and the boy are forced to wear disguises in order to escape the police who are trying to find them. In order to get into the movie premiere, Mr Bean then 'forges' his own ID card.
Only Fools and Horses - Modern Men - the Trousers Don't Fit
(courtesy of http://www.geocities.ws/hookyscripts/Episode_59.htm)
Get a couple of males to act this out. Preferably with a great difference in height - with the taller guy being Rodney.
Del - (Mum) said, 'Del Boy, never stop believing. Cos if you stop believing you've nothing left to hope for.'
Rodney - You've got to have a dream, if you don't have a dream, then how you gonna have a dream come true?
Del - That's exactly what she said Mum - she never stopped believing - even after you were born.
Rodney - Yeah, well that's all very well, but when... What's that supposed to mean? 'Even after I was born'?
Del - Don't get me wrong, it weren't your fault and none of us blamed you.
Rodney - What wasn't my fault?
Del - Well, you being a problem child.
Rodney - I wasn't a problem child! I was a good boy.
Del - Yes, but you did have a problem - you kept getting taller.
Rodney - What did you want me to do, stay at two foot four the rest of me life?
Del - See, most boys could wear the same trousers for a year and a half, but after a couple of months they'd look like Bermuda shorts on you.
Rodney - Well most of the pictures I've got of me as a schoolboy I was wearing short trousers anyway.
Del - No, Rodney, they might have looked like short trousers but they weren't short trousers. If you look very carefully at the bottoms of the legs you'll find that they are all fraying. That's where two months earlier they'd been rubbing on your shoes...
Points From The Movies / Script
At times we can feel like we're wearing the 'wrong clothes' or feel like we need to hide. We often wear a mask, pretending to be OK and happy when inside we're feeling unhappy and down. It's good to recognise these moments, get out of disguise, open up to someone you can trust and deal with what's going on inside. This helps us live happier and more free on the outside.
We read about Jesus in the Bible when it says "His appearance changed from the inside out, right before their eyes..." This is what Christians believe about God. Not that they have to obey loads of rules but that when they say yes to Jesus, he changes them from the inside and this shows on the outside. Religion says 'do this, do that, don't do this, don't do that' but God's love means that people's hearts are changed and that is demonstrated in the good they do. The Bible also says, "as a person thinks, so are they." So we learn our thoughts impact how we act.
Thinking right helps you live and act right!
Even if you don't believe in God, knowing that you can change your thoughts will help you do the right thing. So don't be stressed, start to think good and positive thoughts - or ask God to help you!
Solutions to get rid of stress
(Courtesy of Mayo Clinic)
- Physical exercise is great as it releases 'endorphins' which make you feel more positive. Sitting around playing video games isn't really helpful to you feeling better about yourself. Your self-esteem can also increase as you feel better.
- Relaxation techniques such as breathing deeply, doing yoga, people meditate (a principle that comes from the Bible). There are actually loads of great Bible verses that you could think about that are positive and encouraging.
- Having a sense of humour. The Bible says that laughter is like medicine for the soul and laughing is really good for you!
- Having social contact with people such as friends and family. Even if you feel like it, don't withdraw and sit alone as you can put yourself in a really bad place. How can you get out and so some things?
- Ask people around for help and share your stress with friends, family or speak to your doctor. You are not alone!
- Make time for positive hobbies and interests - we're not talking alcohol, smoking, drugs or negative things that impact your body and can damage your mind!
- Try Praying. Do you know that God is really interested in you and our cares are often his cares. There is a website called 'Try Praying' and it can give you great ideas - www.trypraying.co.uk
What Jesus says in the Bible
Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.”
For the word 'religion' you could say another word appropriate to your situation - or suggest some words.
It's amazing that Jesus wants to help you recover your life. His promise is not for stuff that's heavy or doesn't fit you (though sometimes we have to do things we don't enjoy in life). But his promise is that if we walk with him, we'll learn to live free and lightly. Walking in step with God is like those moments in music where it all comes together in perfect time, rhythm, tune, mix and harmony!