The Invitation: While backpacking through a slot canyon in Utah, fellow hikers warned our group to be careful of the quicksand. They said a woman had fallen in up to her waist several days before. I quickly asked, “How did she get out?” They responded, “Her husband pulled her out.” This potential hazard sounded scary and not something I wanted to experience.
Seeing my dismay, one of our group members assured me that if I fell into quicksand I wouldn’t die. I just needed to respond appropriately. Although counterintuitive, since quicksand is filled with water, the best response is to put your head back and move to the edge with swimming-like motions. This made total sense to me. In water-like conditions, adapt to the principles of the water. Moving through water with the motions that are efficient over land, won’t work. Stop. Don’t panic. Readjust. My anxiety disappeared.
I thought of times in life when it feels as if I’ve stepped into emotional quicksand. I unknowingly wander into difficult situations where I worry, feel stuck, or keep working harder to get myself out, and anxiety creeps in. What if I took the time to shift gears, change my thinking, and do something new? Maybe even something counterintuitive? It might be a time to put my head back, find God in the midst, ask for help, and stop working so hard.
Don’t fret or worry. Instead of worrying, pray.
Let petitions and praises shape your worries into prayers,
letting God know your concerns.
Before you know it, a sense of God’s wholeness,
everything coming together for good,
will come and settle you down.
It’s wonderful what happens when Christ displaces worry at the center of your life.
–Philippians 4:6-7 (MSG)
Your Response: Thank you Lord that You came to save us. You offer us a way out of seemingly hopeless situations by inviting us to think and act differently. As I go through life, sometimes I step into situations that tempt me to sink into anxiety. When that happens, what is the best way to respond?
Is there a situation in my life where I am thinking or responding in a way that is outside of Your principles or ways? What would it look like for me to stop and readjust in this situation?
Thank you Lord that You promise to bring a sense of peace and to displace worry with Your love. Today I choose You and Your way, even when it’s counterintuitive or not how the world says to respond. May my heart be full of praise as I live with You at the center of my life.