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Chaplain's Corner

Chaplain Terry Stafford
 

Flying Squirrel Story

Two boys went on a camping trip with their dad up in the Canadian wilderness. The boys went to gather fire wood and took an axe to an old dead tree. The first boy swung at the trunk of the old hollow tree while the other boy watched. A little furry face popped out of a hole in the tree. A flying squirrel popped out, to their delight, and jumped out to glide to a far away branch. The little squirrel misjudged the distance however, because he didn’t have time to get his pre-flight calculations. He fell to the ground and was slightly dazed.

One of the boys quickly snatched up the little flying squirrel. He was nervous about being bit, so he held on to the soft, furry little creature very tight in his hand to keep it from moving, as he rushed over to show his brother. The little flying squirrel was terrified, and paralyzed from fear. After a few moments, the squirrel simply went limp and lifeless. The boy wasn’t sure what happened. The flying squirrel appeared to be dead. Did he do something to harm it when he snatched it up? Or was it hurt from its fall?

What the boys didn’t realize was that flying squirrels are very friendly little creatures, and would probably not bite even if it was given a chance. Because they are so fragile and shy, excessive pressure or fright will cause them to be terror stricken and paralyzed with fear. The flying squirrel doesn’t have the ability to cope with excessive pressure. Instead of fighting to escape, the gentle creature will simply give up. Its paralyzing fear will cause it to go into shock and die.

We are not flying squirrels, but we do have a limit to how much stress we can take before we are overwhelmed by it. It is like running your car engine past the red line, or leaving your toaster stuck in the on position. Eventually something will break down, or burn up.

 

Some things to do to relieve stress include:

  • Talk to someone you trust – “Get it off your chest”
  • Get in touch with friends/family who bring you joy
  • Take time off
  • Try to eat better. Fast food is fast, but it can clog your arteries even faster!
  • Find enjoyable ways to exercise. Exercise helps burn off excess energy and increase blood flow to the body which helps us recover physically and emotionally.
  • Be purposeful about scheduling more fun

 

            

 
 
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