In a rush to get ready to go out one night, I pulled out some black jeans from my closet and began the struggle to get into them. It’s always a struggle, but this time I was having serious issues pulling them up and over my hips.
What in the world could have happened since I last wore these jeans? I wondered. Is it possible that I am THAT bloated? Or have I over eaten to the point that I can’t even pull my pants up over my hips now? Panic set in. My heart rate picked up significantly.
There was just no way I was wearing those pants that night. No way. Disgusted with myself, I pulled them off, held them up and looked angrily at them as if to scold the pants. It was then that I noticed something. They weren’t my pants. THEY WEREN’T MY PANTS!
The jeans in my hands actually belonged to my seventeen-year-old skinny son. They were his skinny jeans. I collapsed onto my bed in utter relief! His jeans had gotten hung up in my closet by mistake! Yes! No way were his twenty-nine inch wasted pants going to fit over my thirty-blah-blah inch hips.
I searched through my closet and found my black skinny jeans. This time I only had to struggle the expected amount to get into them. I couldn’t help but get tickled over my earlier mistake, and the immediate panic that had set in.
I had jumped immediately to the wrong conclusion. I allowed my mind to race ahead of itself to assume I had put on some significant poundage. It happens. In this case, it was no big deal, but sometimes our jumping to the wrong conclusion can be problematic.
My husband is often a “Worst-case Scenario” jumper. I tease him and tell him it must be exhausting all that jumping to the worst, and often wrong, conclusion he does. I blame the Boy Scouts. My husband is an Eagle Scout, and everyone knows the Boy Scout motto is to always, Be Prepared… especially for the worst-case scenario.
My philosophy is usually that the worst-case scenario rarely ever happens. (The earlier jeans incident notwithstanding.) My philosophy is rather, “Let’s not jump off that bridge until we have to.” It’s generally a much less stressful approach to life. I do realize that my pairing with the worst-case guy was completely by Design. I can generally talk him down from his perch on the bridge, and in those rare instances when the worst-case is the reality; he is completely prepared enough for us both. Go Scouts.
Reaction utopia is probably somewhere in the middle of the way I react and the way my husband does. Clearly, I can on occasion allow myself to panic unnecessarily and ignore my usual philosophy. It’s not pretty. Panic never is. It causes us to forget that no matter what we face, no matter how out of control the situation seems to be, it has not caught our Heavenly Father off guard. When those things happen that cause us to panic, (serious things, not tight jeans kinds of things) our eyes should turn immediately to Him for direction. The overwhelming urge generally is to jump first, but so often in jumping we can make the situation even worse. The Bible tells us that we can see only a part of the whole picture (1 Corinthians 13), while our God can see it all clearly.
Jumping to improper conclusions has never served anyone well. It’s close and expected friend, Panic, hasn’t either. If we are ever going to jump anywhere in a situation, it should be towards wisdom and the seeking of knowledge. It should be towards our faith in the One who holds us no matter the situation, and Whom is never surprised or caught of guard by any worst-case scenario.