I imagine on some level we all experience this same feeling at some time in our lives; a calm state of panic. We try to be still and to let be and let God and be open to whatever may next greet us on this trail of life. Instead we feel ourselves set adrift on the seas of life with land in sight but no clear sailing as yet to shore. It is during these times that we hope for the best while remaining mindful that things may not have the outcome we pray for so deeply. When in a Calm State of Panic, I think it’s possible that you – the reader – like me, are hanging on emotionally for dear life hoping that nothing tips the precious boat of life we have so carefully crafted. The boat we thought infallible. The boat we built on faith and trust and belief that there would certainly be rough waters along the way but not that we’d capsize – or come close to capsizing…multiple times. The boat all our hopes and dreams rest in. I don’t know about you but I’m tired of the hurricanes and floods; I’d prefer small swells to overcome, thank you!
I try to remember that when I feel set adrift yet again, perhaps lost at sea for a bit, the way home may involve a rough entrance through the waves rushing to the shore before you can disembark and move on. Sometimes the waves are mighty and huge and very intimidating depositing you somewhere you’d never intended to be; perhaps feeling as if one must pick up the pieces, start over and make a life from this point forward. Sometimes under the calm waves lurks a sneaky and hazardous riptide ready to pull you back out to sea, back into the turmoil, the uncertainty. Sometimes you get extremely lucky and the waves are calm and prove to be nothing more than a momentary bit of drama made big only in our heads or a tide so even and calm that one glides to shore. What matters in those moments as you ride to shore is to hold dear the gratitude felt knowing our craft is built with might on our hopes and prayers and dreams and that it is the sturdy craft that survives to shore, no matter what the conditions. It is with strong, unmovable hope and faith that we hold on to our dreams and with prayer that the boat stays together, weather’s all storms, holds us together in love and belief that we will not be abandoned this time around either. It is the knowingness that during the time between leaving the clear ocean and finding abrupt shore that one has no control; there is a greater influence at work and “it” is in charge, not you. It is clear to me that this is the moment when one must enter a Calm State of Panic hoping and praying you arrive safely on shore once again but being aware that it’s a process to get to where one wants to be. There must be trust that the ocean will behave as you hope and pray it will, that no rocks or shoals are found as you head for the comfort and safety and knowingness of land. That the thing that is Greater Than You will guide you and those you love to peace and serenity and comfort and joy.
When our only choice is to let go, we must let go and let be – that is if you don’t want to drive yourself nuts with worry and anxiety over “what could be”. It is now that we must be observant and change course if necessary, to allow the panic but see that it is but a small part of our overall belief that all is well and we are each in the place we are meant to be. Perhaps the ride in will teach us new lessons this time around, who knows? My hope today is that I am open to “what will be” as I have no ability to control outcomes during the ride to land or emotional safety. The sometimes rocky ride to shore we take requires us to be patient, to believe what we see and hear but not buy into the insecurity of the blind and faithless. We must trust that with God’s guidance, the wave ridden to peace will take us not only where we desire to be but where we are meant to be. I want to be one of the mighty and courageous who fight their way to land each and every time and never gives up or flounders at sea. Our only true choice is to live with an open heart, to believe in possibility and trust that whatever the journey, it is the right direction for us and Creator would not lead us where we were not supposed to be at that time.
I don’t know about you but I am tired, extremely, bone-deep-tired of finding my boat put out to sea, waiting and watching to see what tide, what type of tide, will bring me in this time around. Are those storm clouds in the distance or is it my mind playing tricks on me; false evidence appearing real? For me the hard part comes in trusting my instincts while having patience and faith as my craft arrives on shore riding the waves of life along the way. Being tired does not stop the ride; it only makes one dig deeper to find the spark of “I can” that exists in each of us. “This shall not defeat me!” It could be difficult to look back at my boat’s Captain’s Logs and see the long list of past events which have made many arrivals on shore surely not the most easily traversed or the arrival a sure guarantee; it could lead to great discouragement on future attempts. Will I dodge another rough entry or will this landing be a “batten down the hatches” memory – or will I have imagined the worst only to experience a peaceful, enjoyable ride in? It is in my Calm State of Panic that I drop anchor out at sea and determine weather conditions and how I will remove the gap that leaves me emotionally stranded at sea while seeing so clearly the beautiful beach and shore that awaits me. During this time I must “read” the waves and watch the ebb and flow of water/life before I make my ultimate return to land where the panic will subside and I will know where I am, how I am to proceed and to get on with the business of living a full life. I only need be patient and lead with the faith of a child to allow God to do His work in my life and to trust that His work is healing work, loving work – He will see that my preciously-built craft holds together in whatever the conditions may be to the shore and that faith and belief and love will triumph once again! We do not always know exactly where we will land; it’s more of an “I’m aiming here…” (pointing to a general location on a map) situation but where we land is determined by Creator and our next task is to repair and store our vessel for the next ride and be grateful for the gift of solid footing while it lasts. There is but one guarantee; there is no controlling Mother Earth or the weather or even when God and the angels decide to have a romping, roaring time bowling in heaven and it is the fool’s task to make such an attempt.
I have come to learn that the ride in may be rough but with faith and courage, I will walk in the sand on the shore admiring a quiet sunrise or sunset knowing that I – and my place in the world – are secure once again. “Just believe,” are the words ringing in my head and heart at this time! Today I have achieved a cautious Calm (yet aware) State of Panic. I am holding fast to reality in that the weather conditions have not yet been determined for this passage to shore but that once given the weather conditions, I can survive whatever storm or pounding wave that wants to toss me overboard and leave me rolling in the surf. My craft is strong and held together with the love of God and He will see that I stay secure in my sturdy boat of faith and love. I rest in the knowledge that I will come out stronger and wiser with a deeper respect and stronger belief in He That Can, and Will, if I step out of the way and let Him do His work in my life. I cannot fight the weather if I don’t know what weather to fight. My role is to pay attention to the signals around me, to listen when Spirit wants to show me the way; to not reject the direction given me simply because it is the more difficult journey. Patience; God will bring the necessary knowledge in His time; I will not be left to float aimlessly about in doubt but will sail with direction in faith that I am rowing with the movement of the water and not against the tide of life.
Remember, your boat is capable and built of courage and faith and belief and all the things we need to achieve our goals. Your craft is strong and will weather the storms of life – you will know and grow strong and courageous in the love and belief that comes from having stood tall and unafraid of “what may be” because you live in the blessed understanding of knowing “Who Is”. God does not intend you to doubt. He intends you to have full faith and to believe no matter what the conditions that currently surround you may be, you will get through, you will ride the swells, big and small, and comfort and safety and love will find your heart and bring peace upon it again.
You will get there – your craft is strong.
“When we walk to the edge of all the light we have and take the step into the darkness of the unknown, we must believe that one of two things will happen. There will be something solid for us to stand on or we will be taught to fly.”