I had been feeling a little bit (okay, a lot a bit divided) for some time. It’s that anxious feeling…I’ve heard anxiety described as a feeling of being divided. Divided between right here and right now, and what you fear might be next. Divided between enjoyment and dread. Peace and restlessness. Breath and not being able to breathe at all. It was like there was a weight of a million things on a to-do list, but even if I got them all done, it was still there, lingering.
The problem is, though, I believe, the to-do list. My expectations of ALL there was to do. Of what NEEDED to be done. Of a million material, earthy things I had to touch and interact with (and clean) before there could be rest. Before I would be satisfied. But things just kept coming up: I’d run over here to clean up the dining room table after a meal and while I was doing that there were 3 more toy-bins coming out. I’d check one shopping item off the list and then suddenly 3 more came to mind. Accomplish one thing and the thrill would last a minute before it was gone, and I was off seeking another. It was a constant chase and that’s how I felt…tired…worn out…I felt the weight of the WORLD: the never ending, always “evolving” weight of the world. I was NEVER to have it under control, and my deep deep soul realized that.
But still I chased it: the seen. I chased the seen, thinking that once I had all of the seen gathered in a pile together (or sorted, a lot of the time, in my case), then peace would come. Then all would be well. The result? My mind always focused on the seen. Micromanaged the seen. Expected of the seen.
“Therefore if you have been raised up with Christ, keep seeking the things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your mind on the things above, not on the things that are on earth. For you have died and your life is hidden with Christ in God.” Colossians 3:1-4
But today. the light of Christ shown in my mind and it become crystal (or “Christ-all”!!! haha!) clear: I needed God to help me to empty my mind of the millions of obsessions over the seen and touchable and smellable worries…for they were clouding my mind. For His intention for me is to fill my mind with spiritual things…praises, words, thoughts, pondering, Him…and He would fill my life with the rest. And suddenly, I think I found the way to live full of expectation and adventure and excitement!
“Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.” Matthew 6
“As we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.” 2 Corinthians 4:18
I feel that this is a pretty practical exercise, so I wanted to share. Try it! Don’t think excessively about what you’ll wear, buy, eat, do, find, clean, move, try. Instead, commit your ways to Him and watch Him inspire you organically, give time for what truly needs time, surprise you with things you never expected.
When I notice that I am drifting into that tight feeling in my chest or gut, I need to remind myself to fix my eyes on Jesus (literally that means sometimes just repeating His name over and over and over in my mind, so there is no space for worries or fears or obsessions or plans of action). But the more scripture I memorize, the more effective I find that way.
I pray we all can find peace and we all can find quiet! But not the kind that a toddler can break into. The kind that overcomes our soul, and comes from peace with God and the inevitable stature that He is in control.
As we focus on the seen, fading, fallen things we will feel ourselves and our world falling apart, whether we are sensitive enough to perceive that feeling or not, it will be there because that is the truth of things. When we focus on the unseen, eternal truths we will experience peace and security, because those are what those are! Unchanging and reliable and all that is worthy!
It is so easy to get attached to the seen, and some imagined outcome that we think must happen, or else. Or else we will never be happy. Or else we will not survive. Or else we will be lacking….the list could go on! Living attached to the outcome that we have “seen” in our mind, or even the vision we have “seen” and the steps we have imagined will lead to its realization, will lead to anxiety! But letting go and just watching what God’s plan for your life is, and what He wants you to have/do/be will be freeing and adventurous!