Sermon of the Week
No Insignificant Question: The Whole Armor of God; Let All You Do be Done in Love.
Keywords: The Whole Armor of God, Ephesians, Do Everything in Love, Adrenaline, Aggressive Society, Joyful Faith.
Adrenaline, or epinephrine, is a hormone that kicks in
during times of excitement or stress or danger.[i]
Biologically, it triggers the so-called “fight or flight response,”
meaning that there’s some danger, some issue, some problem
and you either need to dive right in RIGHT NOW,
or you need to run and find a safe place, THIS VERY SECOND.
The hormone causes air passages to dilate
so that extra oxygen is sent to muscles,
and also it prompts blood vessels to contract
prioritizing and re-directing blood toward major muscle groups
including the heart and lungs.
Your pain sensation goes down a bit,
which is why you can continue running from
or fighting danger even when injured.
There’s a notable increase in strength and performance,
as well as heightened awareness, during stressful times.
The effects of adrenaline can last about an hour.
We were talking about that this week
at the Prairie Village Citizen’s Police Academy.
Our town’s police department
offers the academy as an opportunity
to learn more about the work of a police department.
We’ll get the chance to test out the radar equipment in traffic vehicles,
hear from the county attorney about the criminal code and police activity,
talk about communications, ethical vehicle stops,
even chat with the animal control team.
This week we talked a bit about the patrol officer,
what’s in their car,
what they go through on a shift.
The highlight of the evening was when they explained how stop sticks work
which are these super light tubes that the officers keep in the back of their car
and, if there’s some car that is going fast that they need to stop,
they can toss the tubes across a street and hope the car drives over them
at which point the tires puncture and gradually lose air pressure
and the car comes to a stop.
We got to sit in the patrol car, turn on the lights, run to the back
and try to get the sticks out and safely on the road
in the allotted 20 seconds. Not very easy.
I was amazed with what the adrenaline was like,
even in a comical little simulation like that
where 10 civilians try to do this task
that would be much more anxiety provoking in a real-world moment
by a person regularly trained to do it,
and multiply that by all the other tasks that we ask our officers to do
patrol our streets
respond to mental illness and domestic disturbance calls
build relationships with community.
It’s a lot.
One of the things that they say makes them feel equipped and prepared for that work
is the fact that the department supplies all their equipment.
As they put it, all we have to have is underwear and a t-shirt.
Not every department, apparently, does that.
They get their uniform, shoes, even a form-fitted ballistic vest
which they have to wear under their shirt.
Having a department care about their safety,
provide them the tools they need to do their work,
and keep them clean, maintained, and functional,
makes a big difference.
It is a little thing in the grand scheme of things,
but it alleviates a bit of the built in stress of their work
helps them be a bit calmer
which helps them do their job, make good choices,
keep those moments of adrenaline management at bay.
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exploring topics and themes and questions posed by you
by members and friends of The Kirk.
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