We get our tools for life during worship service. We go in there prepared: mind, heart and whole being open and ready to be filled with inspiration and Holy Spirit. We bring it out into the world with us as reminders and tools to face whatever life throws at us. But when the world is spinning how do we keep our minds from spinning along with it? It’s easy to follow God’s commands when life is good and everything is easy but what happens when things start to fall apart? Can we maintain our spiritual awareness or can all we see is red? It’s easy to say that we can trust God and make Christian conscious decisions during trials but can we really walk the walk?
The pace of our everyday lives varies and it’s always unexpected when something disrupts our harmony. Emotions overwhelm some of us and then our whole day gets thrown because we’re dwelling on how offended or discouraged or lonely or angry we feel as a result. But feelings and emotions aren’t always right, we’re human, we aren’t always right. So letting the magnetic pull of negativity dictate the outcome of our day or situation –can be easy to succumb to –but we should resist.
This is especially true if we’re parents and our kids are watching our every move. They are sponges and they absorb everything whether they mean to or not –including the way you handle hard times in life. If your response is to start swearing and throwing things…don’t be surprised when your kids have tantrums and do the same thing. If your instinct is to shut everyone out and become depressed, then don’t be surprised when your kids have trouble opening up to you when they have problems of their own. Again, everyone deals with things in their own way but as Christians, we have to constantly do things the Christian way. Remember these 5 P’s to persevere through problems:
PRAY –The first thing we should do in any situation is pray. Which sometimes sounds like you’ll have to force it especially when you’re in the thick of a fight or an extremely taxing situation –but that’s your lifeline. That’s your S.O.S. to God. Literally. So yes, do it mindfully and deliberately. You need help, ask for it.
PATIENCE –This is the hard part. Be patient with everything. The situation, the person, yourself… When life gets crazy it feels like every bit of insanity is a particle of debris that swirling in the air. Now your instinct may be to start swinging your arms and swatting everything away, but patience will have you wait for the chaos to settle. Let your mind get a grip on the facts and adjust your focus on a solution.
PERSPECTIVE –Once you’ve prayed and you’ve exercised patience, you will notice that you haven’t moved an inch but your mind may be in a calmer, clearer place. This is the moment you need to whip out your worship service wisdom and go back to the lessons you’ve heard. As Christians, we always want to do what God wants us to do, and once we remember what it is, we want to do it happily and wholeheartedly. We’re blessed with stories of God’s people who have come before us and had their situations documented for us to learn from. What did Noah do? How did Abraham handle it? What happened again in the province of Asia? The answers are all there.
PRACTICE –Do exactly that. Practice what was preached. There are no ifs or buts at this point because you should have your head on right by now. If not, go back to the first three P’s before you do anything. It’s important to be in a clear and calm place at this point because this is when you will decide on your action. Your boss humiliated you and demoralized you in front of the whole company, what’s the next step? This misunderstanding with your spouse is getting out of control, what can you say? Real life has you in a headlock –what’s your next move? Sometimes you’ll find that the most Christian thing to do is simply to do nothing back.
PEACE –Exercising all of the above should lead to this. This is an attainable goal and it’s a gift from God as long as we put His words in focus and aspire for the Holy Spirit in all aspects of our life. The action put into play (see practice), should be motivated with this in mind. Don’t do anything just to be right or to prove a point, make sure that the action leads to peace…even if the reactions are not motivated in the same way, you can’t control what’s on the other side of the conversation but you can control your own thoughts and actions.
Walking the walk as a Christian when it matters most is a key element of spiritual awareness. You are aware when trials come and know exactly where the tools that you need are stored. If they ever get lost, you can always find them again at a pew in the House of Worship on your knees.