Twisting the Rope until it Breaks

Three elderly and delightful ladies, sisters, from the Deep South, who had not been away from the peace and quiet of detoursigntheir farm for many years, made their first trip to New York City. In the course of their visit, they attended a famous church located in the heart of the hustle and bustle of the city’s busy life. Among many questions they asked the sexton, who showed them around, was, why are the people of New York always frantically rushing to catch a train, when there will be another in two minutes. The oldest of the three, a very nice old lady, said, “Why, land’s sakes, down home we reckon if you don’t get there today, you all surely will tomorrow.”

A well-known writer of years ago said that when “Mr. Jitters” excitedly tells him he will be late if he doesn’t hurry, he turns to “Mr. Jitters,” and calmly says, “So what!” 1

   In Luke 10:40, we read that Martha was “distracted with much serving.” Quite literally, the Greek word there employed means she was dragged down. 2 Further, when Jesus spoke of anxious care and stress, He meant a dividing and distracting of the mind, so that it is kept in a state of agitation, unable to focus on any one thing. 3

   A wealthy woman, a member of many clubs, organizations, and numerous committees, living a hurried, stress-filled life, ended up at the doctor’s office.

     “Doctor, I’m all run down,” she complained. He gave her a thorough examination, then said,

     “No, madam, the trouble is not that you are all run down, but that you are all wound up!” 4

The late Norman Vincent Peale stated, “As a people – ‘we are all wound up.’ The old deep peace of life is not within us. The whole jittery world, with its confusion and sinister uncertainties, has invaded the inner life of men more than we think.” 5

   “Well,” said Lucan, “See thou twist not the rope so hard that it breaks.” 6

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 Norman Vincent Peale, You Can Win, Garden City Books, Garden City, New York, Copyright 1938, p. 111

  1. G. Campbell Morgan, D.D., The Great Physician, Fleming H. Revell Company, Old Tappan, NJ, Copyright 1937, p. 226
  2. J. Oswald Sanders, A Spiritual Clinic, A Suggestive Diagnosis and Prescription for Problems in Christian Life and Service, Moody Press, Chicago, Copyright 1958, by The Moody Bible Institute of Chicago, pp. 11, 12
  3. Same source as #1, p. 111, 112
  4. Ibid, p. 112
  5. C. H. Spurgeon, Lectures to My Students, A Selection From Addresses Delivered to the Students of the Pastor’s College, Metropolitan Tabernacle, Published by The Old Time Gospel Hour, Lynchburg, VA, p. 171