Do worrisome life situations seem to follow you around?
Do cycles of anxiety find themselves recurring in your life?
If stressful moments have turned into recognizable patterns creeping up every year….
Then, don’t feel bad. You are not alone.
It’s not hard to look around and find worry and anxiety. The data reports it is affecting even children with 1 in 5 kids suffering from anxiety, and 30% of those being young girls (source.) Sometimes the culprit is a lack of choosing well, or a loss of appetite for things of true value. In the dawn of technology and uber-consumerism, chasing after happiness with the next best thing has become a way of life. Our need to stay technologically current is a given and with it comes benefits. It’s less time-consuming, easier, and safer to communicate behind round emojis than in face-to-face conversations. I know because many times I have chosen to text rather than talk.
There is deep value in connecting with family and friends, and I am thrilled to live in an age where technology allows us to do this with such ease. But sometimes consumer trends leave me searching in counterfeit places for things of sustenance. The next iPhone, a big screen TV, the perfect app all to create the best jobs, cars, schools, and bodies. Together, I am told, they produce happiness. But do they? While consumer striving grows louder, the authentic voice for what will genuinely make my soul happy grows quieter. And therein lies a tension. Living alongside this tension begs a crucial question:
If given a better choice, would I choose it?
Jesus said “I’ve come that they may have life, and have it abundantly”. John 10:10b
Does abundant living look frazzled and over-committed?
Is it full of stress? Do “counterfeits” really produce contentment?
Ironically, God’s plan for abundant life may start with my decision to choose better. It may start with lessening my grip on the counterfeits including whatever it is that produces anxiety and worry in my life. Gently, he removes them and lovingly He carries them away. Then he places his perfect love, peace, and hope for me in Him. There is a better way but the question is will I choose it? Will I give up striving, knowing it will not result in what I seek? Will I wave my right to worry and finally surrender to a way of trust, belief, and dependence of God?
Will I allow my soul the permission to seek true contentment?
“I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” John 14:06
Maybe this January, a resolution for less is in line.
Less striving. Less grappling. Less denying.
Maybe the better choice is to release a few recognizable patterns in my life. Perhaps committing to a better way of letting God meet those needs is required. The result could be surprising. If I am struggling to deal with life’s hectic or unexpected circumstances with immovable peace then maybe I need renewed direction. A fresh approach. Just for kicks, I will choose differently and see what it brings.
Father, may your way of living become my desire. Help me find the places in my heart where you are needed, and let your spirit come and fill those spots with your perfect peace, love, and hope. Amen.