Monday, April 21, 2014

Principle 24: Don't Let Crisis Overwhelm

By definition, a crisis is a "turning point" in a set of circumstances where the future outcome is determined.  As such, the point of crisis in any issue we face is pivotal to where we will end up.  So, understanding how to hold up in the midst of the "turning point" can be the most important part of actually making it through.  Most of us just think of a crisis as something ugly happening to us at the moment and it is a little difficult to endure.  If we begin to see it as a "turning point", we might just handle it differently.

If you fall to pieces in a crisis, there wasn’t much to you in the first place. (Proverbs 24:10 MSG)

As we face crises, the things we focus on make all the difference.  For example, if all we see is the insurmountable odds, we will tend to see only the difficulties and not the possibilities.  Even insurmountable odds have possibilities.  We think of crisis as a point of instability in our lives - when things are just about to cave in around us and take us down with them.  In fact, the upheaval created in the midst of crisis is sometimes what keeps us from being able to focus on anything other than the issues at hand.

It takes a lot of practice to see crisis as a "turning point" in our lives.  It begins when we begin to take a step back from the issue, just breathe a little, and then settle into the peace God provides so that we can begin to focus not so much on the upheaval as on the point where victory is determined.  When we are able to step back a little, we get things in perspective.  God's perspective is found at the point of stepping back - there becomes a little clarity in the midst of a whole lot of muck and mire.

A turning point is a place where we actually slow down, consider the direction we are heading, and then take the necessary steps to reposition ourselves in a totally new direction.  As we traverse a highway, we watch the signs which mark our way.  At the right sign, we merge into a totally different flow of traffic, or take an abrupt turn to get us going in a new direction.  Most of life's challenges come complete with "signs" which we must either heed, or find ourselves going in a totally wrong direction.  Learning how to read the signs before we actually need to make the "redirection" actually helps us to be ready for the necessary repositioning of our steps.

We actually learn to read the signs long before we set out on the journey, don't we?  In considering life's challenges, we often learn more about dealing with the uncertainties of these challenges in the quiet times of our lives when we are able to hear and incorporate learning best.  Trying to figure out the signs and how to read the road map while barreling ahead at life's fast pace is not the best methodology for getting to the best destination!  This is probably why I emphasize the importance of time with Jesus everyday.  Not so much out of obligation, but out of necessity - for it is in this quietness and connection where we learn to read the "turning points" in our lives.

Want to face crises like a champ?  Learn to see them not as hurdles to jump over, but as turning points to help steer our lives in a direction which will bring growth and increased wisdom.  As long as we are with Jesus in this journey, each turning point can be just that!  Just sayin!