When things get tough – focus

Column: Pause For Thought with Pastor Todd English, Open Door Fellowship, Barriere

When things go sideways what is your “go to” thing to do?

Is it to hide under your pillows and try to pretend like nothing is happening?

Is it to go to your darkest thoughts and despise the world we live in?

Here is a thought;  when things get tough, or the world seems to be coming apart at the seams I have learned to do something different.

I put my hands to a task that needs to be done.   It doesn’t have to be anything life changing, just something to get the body moving; and while I do that I start to think about what is going on.

I hate when someone has a house fire or a car accident, but when there is too much going on it actually feels good to be able to help someone else.

It makes sense, and it feels good doing something I am good at.

The same is true when someone comes to me with struggles I can genuinely help with. The world may be falling apart, but we can put some small part of it back together.

Joseph was sold into slavery, thrown into jail and accused of terrible things. He chose to put himself to work and to do the best he could to even help the people who oppressed him. In the end he was given authority and the ability to help his own family who betrayed him.

This is a terrible example of an incredible thing.  Taking the harsh reality of the world we live in and working it into a brave new world with opportunities.

Whether it is just doing some extra chores around your house to give you time to think, or to volunteer with an organization that could use your help (believe me, there is a place for you to help).

You can take the things that make you want to bury your head in the sand and hide from this world by putting yourself to work in some way to transform the world for someone. Maybe even you?

Todd English is pastor at the Open Door Fellowship in Barriere.