Welcome to This Passing Day. I’m Mark Brunner. My friend, may I ask you a question today? Are your worst fears ever actually realized? Or, when you face those fears is it commonplace for them to become more of a droopy old hound dog than a snarling wolf?
My friend, life’s a story, welcome to This Passing Day.
Nothing can get a person off-track faster than having to handle the unexpected with a small window for decision. Life it seems is often filled with the unexpected, especially when like me routine and the expected are the Holy Grail of how I live my days. Pop quizzes in college, for example, rank right up there with the many heinous triggers that could sink me emotionally in a matter of seconds. A rush of warm blood ascending to my beleaguered brain was the warning shot over the bow. Suddenly the course I had been studying hard in, reading the material faithfully, and doing well on the scheduled examinations, was like a foreign language I had never studied. Thankfully I usually did recover, especially when the professor smiled, waved a kind hand and reminded all of us that we knew the material, so there was nothing to fear. The key to recovery for me was always the thought that “I had made it this far without failing, so how bad could I do? It’s just one more crisis to overcome. Besides, pop quizzes build character?
However rationalizing that line of thinking was, it worked for me. My worst fears in life were never really realized since I never crashed as hard emotionally as I was capable of launching. Realizing that there was really nothing to fear made all the difference as I slowly crash landed back into reality, cushioned by the realization that moving on to possible success was preferable to staying put in the company of undeniable failure.
Here’s a story. Test pilots have a litmus test for evaluating problems. When something goes wrong, they ask, “Is this thing still flying?” If the answer is yes, then there’s no immediate danger, no need to overreact. When Apollo 12 took off, the spacecraft was hit by lightning. The entire console began to glow with orange and red trouble lights. There was a temptation to “Do Something!” But the pilots asked themselves, “Is this thing still flying in the right direction?” The answer was yes–it was headed for the moon. They let the lights glow as they addressed the individual problems, and watched orange and red lights blink out, one by one. That’s something to think about in any pressure situation. If your thing is still flying, think first, and then act. (Capt. Alan Bean, USN, Apollo Astronaut, in Reader's Digest.)
Jesus tells us in Matthew 7:13-14: “Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it.” When life gets rough and a crisis is suddenly staring you in the face you have two choices. You can weather it or run for the hills. I think that those astronauts had it right. if you think that you’re still on course, it’s better to work through that narrow gate of circumspect emotion than it is to rush through the wider gate of “running for cover and high-tailing out of there.” God’s crisis are purposeful beyond our knowing. The gate to tomorrow may be somewhat narrow at times, but that’s the way God has designed it. We brush it’s nearness and it hones us. God’s Spirit is critical in that sense. Like my old college professor who liked to drop those pop quizzes, God uses pop crisis to work the fear out and trust in, always building a nobler character worthy of being called disciples of Christ.
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We pray. Thank you Lord for loving us so much that you are willing to put us to the test of crisis in our lives; always offering a way out that may be painful but never fatal. Father, at times we want to run, to hide and take the easy way out, the path that leads to safety, but not necessarily to peace. Help us to always think before we act Lord so that we can weather the crisis instead of it pouring us out in confusion and fear. In Jesus name we pray. Amen!
Therefore my friend, Do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry for itself; each day has enough trouble of its own. This Passing Day. (Matt 6:34)
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