For several hours the pot roast and potatoes had been simmering in my crock-pot. The aroma had already begun to engage my taste buds as it had the other hungry bodies waiting to partake of the prepared feast. In preparation to serve the roast I was carefully placing a few of the potatoes into a large casserole dish in order to pull the roast out for cutting when all of a sudden the dish exploded in my face and shattered everywhere. The pressure of the blast set me back a few feet. I was frozen in total shock! All I could say was Oh, OH, OHHHH!!! I couldn’t believe what had happened. There was glass everywhere and in a million pieces. Amazingly, I didn’t have a single scratch or piece of glass on me, which I must give credit to the protective hand of God! But all the work that went into the pot roast…it just blew up in my face!
What do you do when something you have put a lot of time and energy into blows up in your face? What do you do when you are faced with a disappointment or failure? What do you do when something you have diligently worked at doesn’t turn out the way you had hoped or dreamed? Most of the time it’s something more serious than a spoiled dinner.
Take time out to regain your composure: Step away and work through what just happened. Let it sink in. Work through the emotions. You will have a flood of emotions…that’s okay! It is what you do with the emotions that make the difference. “For you do not have a spirit of timidity…but a spirit of power, of love and of self discipline.” (2Tim. 1:7) This is when you need to pull from the power of the Holy Spirit and discipline your emotions. You can either let your emotions run wild and take you on a roller coaster ride of extreme highs and lows or you can pull your emotions in and line them up with God’s Truth. My tendency is to condemn myself, label myself as a loser, and throw in the towel—I can be the master of total self-annihilation, which only puts me in a self-pity pit, lost and striped of purpose and hope. If I allow this, I am totally useless to myself, my family and to God. Don’t let this happen! It gets you nowhere! Gather your thoughts—surrender them to God and then act in obedience to the Word and not according to your emotions. When you act in obedience your emotions will quickly fall in line with God’s truth.
Get back up and take action: Don’t give up and live in the self-pity pit…that is dangerous! Get right back to doing what you have been purposed/called to do…even if you don’t feel like it. I didn’t throw my hands up in the air and say…I’m not gonna eat now, you guys just go get food! Instead, my husband and kids cleaned up the mess while I took a moment to gain my composure. Then I calmly went and got ready to go out for dinner (That was the only logical thing to do…haha). The point is, don’t take yourself out of the game (of life). There will be setbacks but there’s no time for self-pity! Instead it’s time to refocus, pull your big girl panties up and get back to it!!!
Evaluate your situation: After you get back in the game with restored confidence, then evaluate what you’ve learned and what you can take away from the situation. Don’t look at it as failing, instead, look at it as a learning experience—as a break through to a higher level of excellence. Find that “A-HA” factor that you can take with you as you move on to your next challenge. You might need to seek advice from others but know that there is something you can learn…something you can gain from the situation. I learned I will never put hot potatoes and the simmering juice into a glass dish, and that perhaps it is time to replace some old baking dishes. Even more so I was reminded that with God’s help, when I choose to I can discipline my emotions.
Raise your standard: Often times a “blow up” is on opportune time to dig a little deeper and pull out some of that drive that has been idle for a while. Use it as a wake-up call to become more focused and persistent in achieving your goals, your dreams, and living life to the fullest. Reignite the flame and let the passion become more intense!
Don’t miss out on the feast: You may think the feast is not to be had…but the feast is in the fullness of God waiting for you to enjoy in any and every situation whether well fed or hungry. As the apostle Paul says, “I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do everything through him who gives me strength.” Phil 4:12-13
The feast is not in the success of the moment but in trusting that God’s ways are higher, his grace is sufficient for any situation, and His power is perfected in our weakest moments. (Is. 55:9 and 2Cor. 12:9)
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Peggy Reeves is a speaker, writer and life coach. To find out more about Peggy please visit her website and blog at www.peggyreeves.com and http://embracinglifewithpeggy.blogspot.com