Saturday, May 18, 2019

Lay down, give in

There are many life events that we just barely eke by with any semblance of being "all together" at the culmination. There are others that we seem to simply "sail" through. Which do you prefer? I think we'd all say that we want the ones that we can "sail" through opposed to those that give us cause to reconsider how on earth we ever found ourselves messed up in the muddle we are in right now! I once read that we should not borrow from tomorrow what rightfully belongs in tomorrow - leave it there because today has enough worries of its own. That is the definition of worry in a nutshell - bringing imaginations about the "what if" of tomorrow into the "known" of today. There is a moment in time when we need to "deal with" life, not by just doubling-down or digging-in, but by laying down and giving in!

Give your entire attention to what God is doing right now, and don't get worked up about what may or may not happen tomorrow. God will help you deal with whatever hard things come up when the time comes.  (Matthew 6:34)

The very definition of us "coping" with anything is to struggle or deal it, for however long the struggle will go on. I imagine that we all have days where we are simply "dealing" with stuff - not really rising above it, but muddling through with all the intensity of the moment. Yet, the definition of coping does not end wit the struggle. It goes on to remind us we struggle or deal on a "fairly even playing field" or "with some terms of success" - in other words, we aren't always 'going uphill' in life because God has leveled the playing field. That means we are making it despite the pressure to give in that we all feel from time to time! The very best definition of coping is the ability to face difficulties with a sense of calm and adequate resources. We all have different "coping mechanisms" - some of us exercise a little more to "burn off" the stress, while others of us "eat a little more" (a method I don't really recommend as it adds more stress because you now have to exercise a little more!). The simple truth is that we all have the same resources to "deal" available to us - we just may not realize that they are at our disposal or avail ourselves of them.

It is "when things come up" that we get the resources to "deal" with them. Worry gives us an "uneven" playing field - in other words, the other guy has 10 husky linebackers and we only have one puny one better known as "me". Worry opens the doors of our minds to the infinite possibilities of rationalization - what we think is "rational" at the moment. We think we are "rationalizing" our way "through" the problem at hand, but we are really bringing all kinds of irrational thought into the mix. The truth is that we are all given the capacity to "cope" with life - we just have to realize our capacity and then allow God to exercise his capacity where ours is grossly insufficient. That is where we come to the place where we are really able to "cope" with life - when God is given freedom to intervene instead of us struggling through on our own. There is a very "old world" meaning to the word "cope" and it simply means that we come into contact with and encounter something or someone. What better source of contact can we make than to go to the one who holds our destiny in his hands?

If you are holding on by the skin of your teeth, just barely getting through today, take hold of this truth and begin to "cope" from a different perspective. Act on the instructive portion of this passage: Give your entire attention to what God is doing. Stay focused on the time frame we are each reminded to maintain: NOW. Stop "planning" tomorrow while we have things to deal with or allow to be dealt with this very day. Know with a certainty that God will help you! He does not make promises that he will not keep! Recognize the timing: It is God's, not ours! Coping isn't about us knowing it all or having it all under our control - it is more about realizing there are answers beyond our knowledge and action beyond our ability that might just be more easily recognized if we just lay down and give in a little quicker! Just sayin!

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