Remember how when we were kids, we were always in a hurry to grow up? I don’t know about you, but I just couldn’t wait to hit 18, then 21, and so on. After all, my dad had this interesting way of promising us whenever we wanted something and he didn’t think it was good for us : “Don’t worry when you’re 21 you can do anything you like!”
“Growing up must be really nice then”, I used to think to myself.
Fast forward a few years, and now whenever I hear someone say “Don’t grow up, it’s a trap!”, I can’t help laughing. There’s suddenly so much to think about and be responsible for. Purpose, school, relationships, social life, making career decisions, and thinking about the future…the list is quite endless really.
A few days ago, all the thoughts which usually had a way of popping into my head at different times decided to unite and swirl in my mind with a vengeance. All of a sudden I was bombarded with crazy thoughts of fear and negativity, I wished I could just get a large broom and sweep everything away.
Not knowing what to do, I tried to pray. Believe me, there are some points in life when you know the solution is prayer, but you just don’t know where to start from or simply can’t find the words.
Have you ever wondered how the mind works? How at one point, it’s a storehouse of great ideas and memories, and the next it’s utter chaos? This is a simple truth I’ve learnt over time: the mind thrives on what we feed it. Which brings me to my next point.
I was asking God why He was sitting there silently whilst this battle of thoughts was raging in my mind. And He simply said: “Shift your focus. Unfortunately, I cannot control what you feed your mind with.”
I didn’t know whether to be annoyed or ashamed or even amazed. Here I was, on the brink of blaming God for my dilemma, when I had a part to play in it all along.
Did you know you can actually have peace in the fiercest of storms? How? Let’s ask Peter in the Bible (Matthew 14:22-33). He was so excited about doing something out of the ordinary, and was in the right frame of my mind to do it. Hey, how many people could walk on water? Now that he had faith and the right focus to match, he was unsinkable, literally. Everything was going on smoothly as long as he kept his eyes fixed on Jesus. Now at this point I am tempted to put myself in Peter’s shoes. No doubt, if I were in that situation, instead of focusing on the amazing Man standing in front of me, I would have been entertaining thoughts like “What makes you think you can stay afloat?” “Look at you, you will sink any moment from now.” “What are those watching thinking?” “Can Jesus keep me above the water till I reach Him?” Maybe Peter was thinking along these lines because “When he saw the wind, he was afraid, and, beginning to sink, cried out, “Lord save me!” (Matthew 14:30). Wow. Immediately we allow fear to set in, we’re done.
A friend once asked me why we are always afraid of things that COULD happen when they haven’t even happened. And frankly I didn’t know how to respond. One thing I have come to know for sure, however, is that our focus plays a role in our peace. Life is tough and won’t always go according to plan, but Who we keep our eyes on makes all the difference. Have you ever wondered how a baby can sleep through the loudest of music? It’s simple: they trust the environment they are in and the people around them. Why can’t we do same and trust the One Who knows us way more than we even know ourselves, the One Who has EVERYTHING under His command? Growing up isn’t going to get any easier, but who said we ever have to face it alone? Expectations are going to get higher, dreams bigger, setbacks more disappointing, but there’s great news! We have an Anchor that keeps our souls 24/7 🙂 A Friend Who will never leave us alone and Who never asked us to face our battles with our own strength.
Well I’ve spoken a lot…but even if you didn’t grasp anything, remember this: you can always have peace, no matter what. The secret lies in feeding your mind with the right stuff, and above all keeping your eyes on the Prince of Peace, so you can keep your head above the water.