Anxiety is not my friend, but I seem to spend more time with it than I spend with friends sometimes. When asked to describe myself, I’ll usually say that I am a pretty easy going, laid back sort of person. I don’t usually take leaps off into the deep end of “nutsy-coo-coo” at a moment’s notice. But this week I look down and see that I am stepping right up to the edge of
“totally stressed out”
Do you know what that feels like? For those of you who say, “Nope, have no idea”, you’re either not being honest, or you’re living a much too banal life.
(Ba-nal: So lacking in originality as to be obvious and boring.)
I have friends who are much different from me. They live a very ordered life. A predictable life. They are great planners and live by schedules and lists. But, should anything mess up the plan, they are thrown into a tailspin. I joke with those friends, and tell them that people like me who tend to fly by the seat of their pants have a much more exciting life. It’s a sort of take it as it comes lifestyle. It’s never boring and certainly not BANAL.
But whether you are a planner or a fly-by-the-seater, anxiety can really get you all twisted up inside. I happen to have a good bit on my plate this week. Lots of activities and plans. Things that need my attention. I am so pressed this week that I have resorted to making lists. When a fly-by-the-seater takes to making lists, it’s got to be bad.
So how do we meet this Anxiety head on? How do we sweep it right out of our lives? I think what we must do first is recognize it for what it is. It’s an idol, and it loves to take control of our lives.
When we look at all we have to do, and feel the stress levels going up its time to recheck where our focus is. More often than not, if we do, we will see that our focus has shifted away from God and onto our circumstances.
Probably my favorite Bible personality is Peter. Peter made friends with Anxiety, too, from time to time. My favorite part of Peter’s story is when he stepped out of that boat to meet Jesus on the water. Peter had great faith. He never would have set one foot out of that boat if he had not believed full well that Jesus could meet his need and hold him up out of the water. And of course, he was right. It wasn’t until Anxiety took him over that Peter freaked out over his circumstances.
It wasn’t until Anxiety overwhelmed him that he began to sink. Peter lost his focus. But Peter wasn’t completely sunk. He remembered his great faith, and in the midst of his anxiety shifted his focus back to Jesus, crying out to the only one who could help.
I have so much to do today. More, really, than I can accomplish in the hours I have to do it. But those are my plans. And those are stressing me out. I think what I am going to do is what Peter did. I’m going to shift my focus back, and let Jesus help me. I’m giving Him my day, my plans, and I am going to leave it all there.
How about you?
I’m going to tell Him to look at all I have to do today, but then I am going to tell Him that my day belongs to Him. I’m going to let Him order my day. I’m going to follow His plan for my day. And you know what?
I think I just heard Anxiety hit the road….