The Trouble With Trouble … January 15, 2013

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boat in high windThe same breeze that fills our sails also blows down our fences. Is it an angelic blessing or a demonic curse? Actually, the wind is just rapid air movement, which we can either harness to use for power or has the seeming ability to place us in the harness.

Here’s what I know: everything that has happened in my life has brought me to where I am, which generally speaking is good. And the only thing that will ever be totally detrimental is whatever kills me.

So how can we remember that in the midst of facing the hassles and nastiness that come our way–to somehow retain the objectivity that all things work together to the good?

I have a four-step process that I follow whenever the storm starts blowing my way and I am not sure whether it’s just trouble, or an opportunity to correct my direction:

1. I grab five minutes. I don’t care if people are hurrying me to make a decision. I am not interested in being pressured. If I don’t have five minutes to set aside to calm down my blood pressure, allowing my heart, spirit and mind to create a working team of solution, then I have already admitted failure and have given into the worst possible scenario coming my way. You would be amazed at how much better you feel after five minutes of non-reaction. After all, the brain shuts down from seeking new solutions because the spirit is not seeking new ideas. And the spirit is not sending new ideas because the emotions are not seeking counsel, but are rather trying to take over the show. Five minutes.

2. I start looking for God‘s sense of humor. I think we fail to realize what a card and a comic our heavenly Father is. It’s not that He’s laughing AT us, it’s just that He knows we are better people when we laugh with Him and consider chuckling about ourselves. If you’re looking to buy a new car and you can’t make the decision, what better way for God to point you in the right direction than to let your old car break down? That’s just a giggle fest. But it takes five minutes of clear thinking to find God’s sense of humor.

3. After that, I always find–at least ninety per cent of the time–that it is better to adjust to the wind than it is to push into it. Some people call this compromise and consider it distasteful. They are also the folks who appear determined–as they crash their boat on the  rocks. Human life is much more about evolution than creation. Don’t forget that. The times I have pushed on ahead, I have found myself in a desert place, very alone, absent wisdom, devoid answers and seemingly without God. Adjust, don’t push.

4. And finally, celebrate the breather. Some of us never get the chance to enjoy our lives, consider the lily or hug our families if something doesn’t stop us–which appears to be troublesome but actually is just a command to enjoy. I have had a broken down vehicle alongside the road and turned it into a family picnic, a conversation about life or a great card game with my children, and was actually sad when the repairman told me we were ready to go.

You see, the trouble with trouble is that it’s not always trouble. Blessing and cursing look the same until you take five minutes to trace their source.

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