I was watching the weather report the other day and the meteorologist stated that “a high- pressure system will be moving-in and clear-away the clouds.”

The more I thought about it, the more I realized how similar that is to our lives. When we are under increased pressure in life, we certainly don’t feel like the clouds are moving out; rather, we feel like the clouds are building. Pressure does not always bring-out the best in us, but often it does.

The development of our national railroad systems required the movement of large amounts of earth and rock. Human labor was not always sufficient to keep up the require pace, so mechanical equipment was needed.

William Brunton patented a Steam Shovel in 1833. The Steam Shovel facilitated the completion of intercontinental railways and the Panama Canal. The pressure of need led to that need being fulfilled.

In the heat of Summer, we all enjoy the benefits of air conditioning, and when it breaks-down, we suffer. We can thank, in part, Willis Carrier of Buffalo, New York for perfecting mechanical air conditioning in 1902.

The need to control temperature and humidity in a printing plant was the pressure needed to push the invention forward. The pressure of need led to that need being filled.

Those of us that require eyeglasses know how important they are for our daily life. I have been wearing them since I was 5-years old.

Without my glasses, I can’t even recognize someone more than three feet away from me. The first eyeglasses are said to have been invented in Italy about the year 1286. The need for improved vision made the invention of eyeglasses necessary. The pressure of need led to that need being filled.

Without some pressure in life, we would not be driven to greater accomplishment. Remember those days in school when the work seemed too hard to complete. Then remember the moment you had a breakthrough and it suddenly made sense.

Without pressure, we can become stagnant. We were created to accomplish great things, but we most often need to be driven to succeed. Pressure is often necessary to enlighten us to need; need drives us toward invention; invention fulfills need.

If there was no pressure in life, how long would it take for us to get bored? Just as high-pressure in the atmosphere drives-away clouds, pressure in life, if properly dealt with, clears-away much need. St. Paul wrote: “… suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not disappoint us.” (Romans 5:3b-5, NRSV).

When we learn to embrace pressure and channel it toward the fulfillment of need, we will find that pressure is not actually pressure at all, but a driving force for accomplishment.

As June Carter Cash used to say, “Let’s press-on.”

Blessings and Peace,

Fr. David+

Rev. Dr. David Bridges is the pastor at St. Andrew's Episcopal Church in Grove. He can be reached at frdavid@standrewsgrove.org.