A few months ago, I had a major craving for corned beef. I don’t know why I was temporarily fixated on corned beef but after thinking about corned beef repeatedly for about three days I decided to make a brisket.
As I stood in my kitchen filling a large pot with water to begin the boiling process my mother walked in and asked, “Why don’t you use the pressure cooker?” She went on to explain that the pressure cooker would take hours off the cooking time and was easy to use. I shrugged my shoulders in a typical mother-daughter “I dunno” and told her I would just boil it. The truth was, I was afraid.
When I was a little girl my mother, like many of yours, had a pressure cooker. My mother’s pressure cooker was older than me and had an attitude. First it looked like she was fighting the pot to line up slot one with hole two or whatever she was doing to seal the lid to the pot.
Then the pot weighed as much as she did so it always hit the eye of the stove with a very loud thud. My mother would turn the heat under the pressure cooker on and warn me not to touch it. I don’t remember exactly what she said, as I was kind of at that “half listening” stage, but it was something to the effect of “Don’t open the pressure cooker it will explode and burn you to death.”
About ten to fifteen minutes after turning the heat up Sista Pressure was throwing steam, spitting small hot water droplets from the top of the spout and swinging her circular metal “head” so fast that it clanked against the metal lid. It sounded like a cross between a freight train, a tea kettle and a bomb.
Touching the pressure cooker was not on my agenda. Over the years I managed to become a good cook and even cater without ever using a pressure cooker so why risk life and limb now?
So there we stood…mother, daughter and a doomed corn beef. I knew from the look on her face that she wasn’t backing down. We were going to use the pressure cooker. My mother pulled out a new pressure cooker that she got off the TV. “Well,” I thought to myself, “we’re definitely going to die.” I had more faith in my mother than that pot and I trusted her (sort of) to make sure we didn’t explode.
We filled the pot with water to the imaginary fill line that only she could see. She put the rubber seal on pot then lined up slot one to part two, which again, only she could see then she locked the pot which had a “confirmation click” that, you guessed it, only she could hear. Unimpressed by her rehashing the shopping networks’ sales pitch on safety and ease of use, I was still concerned I would die by pressure cooker before getting to enjoy my corned beef. I watched her turn on the heat and I left the kitchen.
The new pressure cooker did not sound as bad as the old one. The TV-version just sounded like a small caboose and a rattlesnake shaking its rattler. I was impressed. About two hours later my mother summoned me so that we could open the pressure cooker. Walking to the stove, I could see the saints eating fried chicken at my repast saying how it was such a shame I died so young and suddenly but I looked natural and my hair “sho was cute” in my coffin.
Mama reassured me it would be fine. She turned off the heat and pressed a big button until the little red button went down. She said “the pressure wouldn’t get me if we released it slowly.” Sure enough, we lived!
This week, make it your business to release the pressure slowly. Taking the pressurized lid off too fast could have caused injury in the kitchen. Likewise dealing with highly pressurized situations in our everyday lives too quickly can cause permanent injury too.
Speaking without thinking, pointless arguing, sending angry texts and emails, and other off the cuff reactions are dangerous to the community and to the Kingdom. Find out what helps you to relax and refocus. Begin to give yourself time to process a situation fully before responding.
Most of all, take your concerns and stresses to the Lord and leave them there. Prayer still works! Nothing you say in prayer will shock God, He already knows. Believe me, you will be better as a person and as a Christian if you release the pressure…slowly.
August 19, 2012 //
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