Take a Chill Pill

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About a week or so ago, during my internship interview, I was told I have a very calming personality. It was very flattering… and almost comical. If someone had tried to describe me about an hour earlier, while I was preparing for this same interview, “calming” would have been the last word on his or her lips. There wasn’t anything calm about me.

Now, that’s not to say this observation about my personality was wrong. In fact, I’d say I was quite calm and collected during the interview. So how did I get from point A, before the interview, to point B, during?

The short answer is that I did nothing – really.

The longer answer is that I followed a couple simple steps that are rather similar to Barb Roose’s CALM technique. Just to review, these are Barb’s steps:

  1. Pause and Count to ten
  2. Acknowledge God’s presence
  3. List your fears
  4. Meditate on the words “God is with me. I am not alone.”

My own calming technique also starts out with a pause and acknowledging God’s presence. Every morning, after my devotional, I take at least five minutes of silence to do, as I said, nothing. I set a timer, close my eyes, and try my best to not do anything at all.

No fidgeting with my phone.

No checking my calendar.

No thinking about my to-do list.

Nothing, except focusing on God and his peace.

Philippians 4:6-7

6 Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. 7 Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.

 

Do I always succeed? Absolutely not.

Sometimes my mind wanders, and I start planning what I’m going to do as soon as that timer goes off. But that’s okay – as soon as I realize my mind is wandering, I redirect it back to God.

Much like taking a sabbath once a week, this small rest reminds me that it’s not all on me. The world will go on just fine, even if I stop being actively productive for a little bit. God’s got it covered. And as obvious as all that might seem, honestly, sometimes I need that reminder.

Sometimes, that’s enough.
And sometimes it’s not. And on those days, I remind myself that no matter what happens, as long as I’m being true to God’s commands, it’s going to work out because everything’s in his control. One interview, good or bad, is not going to ruin his plans for me. He’s quite a bit bigger than one interview, one decision, or one mistake.

 

Romans 8:28-29    
28 And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them. 29 For God knew his people in advance, and he chose them to become like his Son, so that his Son would be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters.

 

Normally, these two steps of pausing and acknowledging God’s presence are enough to calm me down. However, on occasion, no sitting in silence or concentrating on God will calm me down because my mind is still focused on the very problem I’m trying not to worry about. When that happens, I go work out – swimming, specifically. I swim lap after lap until my mind can’t think of anything besides how many laps I’ve done, how great it feels… and how tired I am.

It’s hard to worry when you’re passed out in bed after a tough workout.

That might not work for everyone. But it’s a good reminder that no matter how much we pray about something, no matter how much we think about the potential outcomes or remind ourselves that it’s in God’s hands, eventually we have to stop worrying. Eventually we have to leave it alone, and leave it to God.

 

Psalm 56:3   
But when I am afraid, I will put my trust in you.

 


Questions:
What are some other Bible verses that remind you of God’s peace and sovereignty? What verses make you feel secure?

What is a way you can distract yourself when it’s hard to leave your worries to God?

Next Steps:
Write out your own CALM technique.
Example: Practice “doing nothing” and focusing on God for a few minutes every morning.

If you haven’t done so yet, go to www.cedarcreek.tv/book to get your free copy of the first chapter of Barb Roose’s new book, Winning the Worry Battle.

Prayer:
Heavenly Father, thank you for the peace you offer us. Thank you for always being there, no matter what we face. You never promised that lives spent following you would be safe, easy, or worry-free. But you do promise to carry us through whatever you put in front of us, so long as we trust in you. Help us to trust in you, God, and to overcome our disbelief when the mountains seem too high. May your will be done in our lives. Amen.


This post was written by Payton Lechner. Payton Lechner is a college grad currently working at her local library. In her spare time, she volunteers as an ESL teacher and freelances as a writer and editor. Besides the English language, Payton loves swimming, cats, and a good cup of tea.


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3 replies
  1. Ben Snyder
    Ben Snyder says:

    Payton- this was great. Thanks for sharing your application of reflecting on God’s peace. I loved how you don’t beat yourself up for getting distracted – you simply bring your mind back to remember God. So good!

  2. Sarah Rankins
    Sarah Rankins says:

    Great post, Payton! I loved your tips for spending one on one time with Jesus. My favorite part of your post was the fact that when we stop being productive, even for a few moments, God is still in control. He’s got it all, and that’s an incredible feeling! Thanks so much for writing!!

  3. Gary
    Gary says:

    Key words I got from this is to “Trust in him”. That is so hard for for when worry/fear take hold. I know that is what we are to do though. Thanks for post, needed it

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