Calgon take me away!!! You’ve probably seen the commercials and scenes from television and film where the main character in the midst of a terrible, chaotic, and problematic situation drops everything and walks away. The character is later seen relaxing in some exotic location, or some peaceful setting not worrying about the previous situation at all. Most of the time watching a scene like that would make me think, “I wish I could do that,” or “it must be nice to retreat.” The truth of the matter is, if we could really just drop everything, forget about all of cares and go on vacation, the problems would still be waiting for us, just as bad if not exacerbated to another level.
For many of us daydreaming, procrastination, hobbies, and social activities provide some temporary escape from the issues we face. Television, movies, music, and even conversation can also provide some relief from the stress of life. But there are those circumstances that arise that no matter what you do to “tune out” or escape from, it just keeps tapping you on the shoulder reminding you of its presence. It might be an estranged relationship with a family member, attempting to pay off debts, or pressure from your manger to increase your work performance. It could even be the pain from an incident that happened years ago that won’t seem to let you “let go and let God.” In these instances we find that escaping is simply not working. There is not enough that we can do in our own power to alleviate the situation. After a while if the issue persists not dealt with, we collect more problems, or the original situation compounds. So instead of having a hill to climb, you end up going up the rough side of the mountain to find a solution.
At this point some introspection might begin. You start asking the questions: “Why didn’t I deal with this long ago?” or “How can I fix this?” and even “What am I supposed to do about this?” The hard truth is that if you knew what to do to fix it you would have. Or maybe you knew what to do, but didn’t have the resources. Still in some situations, it’s just a matter of maturity or lack of wisdom. We all have made poor choices, even if we knew what the potential negative consequences could be, and chose to do it anyway. For many people this is the “low point” that causes them to make a decision to correct the situation that has them feeling so bad. May be the answer to the problem is simple, like opening up the lines of communication with someone you are in conflict with. On the other hand, the solution might be more complex. You may have to forgive, open lines of communication, define clear boundaries, and strategize on how to prevent the problem from happening again. You might have to recognize that fear, pride, guilt, negative perception, and/or stubbornness could be emotions that have impeded your progress in the past. Giving up motives for revenge and payback might also be necessary to be able to sincerely fix a relationship or clearly strategize a new plan for the future.
“What can be done to relieve me of this pain and pressure?” Well all I can say from personal experience is that prayer, praise, worship and study of the Word of God works. I find that often times I won’t get a new perspective on a situation that I am facing until I pray, study, or “spend some time with God.” Psalms 91 says that God will cover us under the shadow of His wings while we are in the midst of trouble. So if we ever feel the need to escape God will provide us with security and covering when the pressure we face seems insurmountable. To be honest this is a hard principle to put into practice, but once you try it and see that it works, it makes it easier the next time.