A part in the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous gives the reader a choice; “either God is everything or else He is nothing. What is our choice to be?” Intellectually I’m like, God IS, duh! And I skim right over the following sentence, “What is our choice to be?”
I’ve been a season of hard growth. My family has depression and anxiety. My son got it, and then it spread like our spikey frenemy, The ‘Vid.
As a family, we’re trying and mitigate and control the illness. We’re doing all of the things: consulted mental health professionals, entered treatment, prayed with friends. Yet sometimes, I feel powerless, helpless, and stuck. I start to believe that my family will always be mired in the muck. I use destructive imagination to come up with worst-case scenarios that end up looking like a bad-made-for-TV movie about the kid who gets hooked on drugs and ends up in the slammer.
My destructive imagination debates, saying that God gave my son free will, so it doesn’t matter if we pray; God CAN’T do anything if my kid doesn’t let Him.
Hold on. Wait a minute. God CAN’T?? Here’s where the choice comes in. If God is everything, then He is in the middle of all this gak.
The therapist said that people have a window of stress tolerance. Meaning that there is a range in which we can manage and handle stress before losing our shit and acting out.
When we’re under prolonged stress, that window is smaller, so we may find that we go from just okay to irritated as hell in about .02 nanoseconds. It’s like the sage poet, Grand Master Funk says, “Don’t push me cuz I’m close to the edge/ I’m tryin not to lose my head.”
When I consciously choose to believe that God is everything, I widen the stress tolerance window. I have more peace of mind and a longer pause between stimulus and response. In other words, I’m less likely to “lose my head” over something simple.
Just for today
I choose to believe that God is everything and that He’s going to work it out, just like the Beatles song. Despite what I see around me, I’m choosing to trust.
God, when I get agitated or upset today, give me the presence of mind to turn to you. If I become afraid, please help me pause and turn my thoughts to you. Protect my mind and heart from the thoughts and fears that distract me from the truth that you are everything.