Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Are You An Adrenaline Junkie? by Ps Jacob Cunningham

When you read a title like that, for most of us our automatic response is “no I’m not.” That is because we haven’t jumped out of any planes or jumped off any bridges with just a rubber band strapped to our ankles this week! But that isn’t the type of adrenaline rush I’m focussing on here.

Adrenaline is a natural hormone produced from our adrenal glands, located above our kidneys, and is commonly referred to as our ‘fight or flight’ hormone. It’s released into the bloodstream and affects our autonomous nervous system, which controls bodily functions such as heart rate, dilation of pupils and the secretion of sweat. You know the feeling when you have an adrenaline rush – your senses come alive, your awareness of your surroundings is heightened and you feel like you’re ready to take on the world! This is exactly why we all possess this hormone, for situations that require a ‘fight or flight’ response.

Unfortunately however, more and more people are relying on high levels of adrenaline just to get through a “normal” day. Stress is one of the biggest activators for adrenaline to be released throughout our body. The “instant” society we live in today has placed huge demands on speed and a faster delivery of results. This has meant that for some people, stress levels are higher and stay higher for long periods of time. This has resulted in us relying more and more on our adrenaline supplies to make sure we’re replying to emails faster, meeting KPI’s earlier and pushing ourselves harder to keep up this relentless pace we’re running.

We know medically that having an elevated heart rate, elevated blood pressure and increased anxiety levels over long periods of time, can be detrimental and even damaging to our bodies. Adrenaline though is a vital and necessary hormone our bodies possess, when used for the function it’s designed for.

If you read through the gospels, Jesus always ministered with an amazing rhythm to his ministry. Engage, engage, engage, withdraw. Engage, engage, engage, withdraw. He was never pushed by the demands of society and regularly withdrew for a short time of solitude.
Honestly, when is the last time you withdrew to recalibrate? I’m not necessarily suggesting you book into a monastery for a month and completely detach from the world, but when is the last time you withdrew briefly to solitude?
Jesus models a great discipline in His life, one which we can all learn from. If Jesus, the Son of God often withdrew, maybe you and I should consider implementing this in our own lives.
So I ask you again: are you an adrenaline junkie?

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