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The London Institute for Contemporary Christianity

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Living in a Pressure Cooker

Many of you will have heard of (or seen by now) La La Land – the modern day rom-com musical taking Hollywood by storm. Nominated for 14 Oscars this week, it’s been billed as a film which will whisk you away from reality for a short time in the colour, music and romance of it all.

For most of us, however, day-to-day life is not like that at all. I think it is probably more akin to living in a pressure cooker. From a young age, we experience huge pressure, and as we grow up this only increases, compounded by the burden we put on ourselves to ‘succeed’ in careers, as parents, friends, Christians… the list goes on. Sometimes I feel this pressure like a crushing weight on my shoulders and I wouldn’t be surprised if many of you feel the same.

So what’s the answer? Is there a way to maintain the wonderful rainbow colour and joy of life as so well depicted in films like La La Land – without breaking out into song every few moments which, let’s be honest, is bound to attract some odd looks?!

I believe there is and it starts when we get our doxology right – which sounds heavy but just bear with me.

Doxology is about praising God, and I’ve found it’s a crucial component in my daily conversations with him. It’s certainly not rocket science, but sometimes it’s good to be reminded of simple truth in the craziness of life. To remember that when I set my eyes on God again, when I take them off the many and various pressures of life, these do grow dim in the light of his glory and grace. My praise is often the breakthrough in my circumstances because even when nothing physical changes, my heart and my perspective does.

God abounds in grace and love, and promises good things for us who love him. He is also big enough to hold me, and you, up under all the pressures that we face, good and bad.

So today, when this year is already ramping up, I would encourage you to look to God and offer him praise. I truly believe that as we look up and get some spiritual perspective, you will reflect the glory of God to those around us who I expect are very much in need of the same.

Rachel is a solicitor. She lives and works in Manchester but daydreams about travelling the world.


Rachel Dean

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