Obviously there are circumstances that are out of your control. In many situations, you don’t even see the trouble coming. You might go as far to say life is unpredictable. For instance, if someone runs a red light coming into the intersection from a side street, the same intersection that you’re approaching, you typically react in the best way you can to avoid an accident. However, even with situations out of your control and the unpredictability of life, you can learn to live in a zone that is beyond reactionary. After all, you can’t just stand by and let life dictate your every move. On the one hand, you might say, “I can’t predict when someone is going to run a red light and pull in front of me.” That’s true, but you can also say, “when I drive a car I need to be prepared and take preventative measures.”
Again, you can get prepared. You might call this approach proactive. So, what can you do to prepare? You can purchase a car with a high safety rating. You can maintain your car and safety equipment so it’s in good working order. You can wear a seat belt. You can install and use child safety seats properly. You can even take a defensive driving class. In other words, you can do the best with what you have available to you. Okay, granted, you don’t have total control of anything. However, what is keeping you from doing your best with what is within your control?
As an individual, you react to mistakes, fear, disappointment, hurt, pain, frustration and confusion most likely on a daily basis. You don’t want these circumstances to happen. You certainly don’t ask for these trials to come your way. Nevertheless, do you really expect all of these terrible things to consistently elude you? Really? I know that some people seem to have nine lives and others are given the nickname “Teflon” but, even so, trials and suffering are realities in our world. You simply can’t deny it. In any case, if you live in the zone that is beyond reactionary, you can soften the many blows that come your way and learn to maintain a positive attitude.
With all of that said, our spiritual life as followers of Christ also needs to be beyond reactionary. In fact, well beyond reactionary. Again, you don’t have control of everything, even most things, but you can have faith in the One and Only God who does. Instead of being overwhelmed by your circumstances after the fact, you can be proactive by preparing (doing the most with what you have) for the reality of life. What is the reality of life? John 16:33 “I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.” So, how can you be proactive? You can learn the character and attributes of God from studying scripture. You can learn that God has a plan for you (Jeremiah 29:11). If you love God and are called according to His purpose, you can trust that he works all things together for good (Romans 8:28). You can learn God’s purpose for allowing trials (James 1:2-4) and suffering (1 Peter 1:6-7) to touch your life. Also as important, you can learn to put your faith into practice (James 1:22).
A Work in Progress,