Step 1: We admitted we were powerless over our addictions and compulsive behaviors, that our lives had become unmanageable.
5 You established the earth on its foundations
so that it will never ever fall.
6 You covered it with the watery deep like a piece of clothing;
the waters were higher than the mountains!
7 But at your rebuke they ran away;
they fled in fear at the sound of your thunder.
8 They flowed over the mountains,
streaming down the valleys
to the place you established for them.
9 You set a boundary they cannot cross
so they’ll never again cover the earth. Psalm 104:5-9, CEB
God frequently doesn’t work in obvious, overt ways. He’s operating behind the scenes. He’s at work in the world in a great variety of ways, we just don’t always see them or recognize them. Because of this, we carry around a lot of anxiety about how our lives are going to turn out. Or, perhaps more specifically, we have a lot of anxiety about how each given situation or crisis is going to turn out. Now, I don’t know this for sure, but I think God is probably far more active in the world than we can ever know. But I suspect it’s a million little tiny movements in a billion small places that add up to quite a lot over a long period of time. If we were able to embrace that as a reality, I suspect it would decrease some of the anxiety we experience in the face of our ever-present powerlessness. That’s my theory anyway. I know I’m not there yet.
When was the last time you had a crisis? If you’re currently in the middle of a crisis, think back to the last crisis you had that’s been resolved…does it still feel like a crisis? Probably not, if it’s been resolved.
In some ways, life is one crisis after another. Once one crisis is taken care of, another crisis rears its ugly head a short ways down the road. We desperately want to be out of crisis. But when we get out of one, we’ve got some other one waiting for us. I wonder if it would be helpful for us to just realize and accept that crisis is just always going to be a part of our lives. Would that make solving each individual crisis seem a little less urgent? Would believing that God is ever-present, constantly working behind the scenes, take away some of our panic?
I’m going to try a little exercise the next time I believe God is silent or absent from my circumstances. I’m going to try to brainstorm all the possible things he could be up to during that time. I’ll try to come up with some positive options, rather than simply assuming he’s stepped out for lunch. It will be total speculation. But sometimes speculating for good helps lead to a change of mindset (this is an exercise my therapist used to have me do when it came to interpreting people’s actions). I have no idea what will come of that….but I think it’s always helpful to try little exercises that help to reframe our thinking and encourage a new or different perspective.