When God puts you on a "time-out"

“Thus the days passed. Dreamy, luminous days, and sometimes such great quiet joy came to me that I would turn out my lights and a strange desire to die would come to me.” — John Fante, Ask The Dust

Sometimes, God tells you to chill the f*ck out. He told me that when I went to jail and rehab and had to sit patiently for 3 months, blindly hoping I’d get out soon.  Hopefully you never go to jail but maybe you feel stuck right now. This post is for you.

There are two choices to be made: 1) How is this affecting me right now? and 2) How will I let this affect me in the future?

I discovered in my experience that there were also two attitudes to have: 1) Hate everyone, everything, hate my life, hate God, hate jail, hatehatehate, or 2) Love God, trust life, the universe, love where I was, love the situation I was in, love the experience in front of me and ahead of me.

When you find yourself immobilized — physically, mentally, emotionally, financially — it’s a good time to let the pause sink in. Soak up the pause in your life. The paralysis. The “what-the-eff”-ness. JUST STOP. You aren’t allowed to have all the answers.

So many times in my life, I have encountered something that made my mouth drop and me stop in my tracks and say, “Why is this happening, right now? God, why is this happening?” Then BOOM I start running around trying to fix things. Trying to make things right for me, forcing things into  something that makes sense to me. Usually, I end up just making things worse and being a total terror.

This is, um, ineffective. All this time and energy gets spent trying to prevent something that is already happening and trying to control everything except myself. Of course, the only thing I even have control over is myself, and it’s the only thing I don’t want to control!

So I learned how. It turns out, the sooner I was able to get a handle on how I felt about a situation, the better I felt about situations. Let’s face it, the world is not butterflies and rainbows. Things happen, and for good reason (always for good reason) we just have to trust that that’s the truth. This is where faith comes in.

Why don’t you want to have faith?

Give it a shot. Have faith this situation is a curve ball you were not expecting, but it’s just one pitch in an inning in a game in a season in a career — so get over it. There are other things you need to prepare for, and learning to deal with this curve ball is what is going to get you through to the next one. You have to have faith that this situation is not forever, and if it is, then get used to making it your norm and let yourself be changed. Complaining about something doesn’t change anything and it makes you look like a giant baby. Adapting to a situation and making it your bitch, that’s boss.

Should you still grieve, mourn, be pissed off? For sure, do that, for like a day. Then get over it and move on to the solution. Sometimes, all it takes is to get drunk on blind faith, embrace that problem in front of you, and stay still with it for a little bit. Embrace your time out. Have faith that this is making you a better human being for yourself and for the people around you.

I’m not saying it’s easy, and I’m only able to do it with the power of the Holy Spirit, so if you aren’t Christian I suggest you at least start practicing having faith in something (eventhoughJesusChrististheanswerandtheway) outside of yourself. I’m only a decently happy human being today because of who I am now, a believer in my savior Jesus Christ. But I get it, that’s not for everyone. But I still think you can have faith.

“I believe in Christianity as I believe that the sun has risen: not only because I see it, but because by it I see everything else.” 
― C.S. Lewis