November 2016, Vol. 35, No. 11

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Don’t Be So Irrational

posted on February 5, 2018

We have two dogs at home, both a breed of terrier. To say that they are high strung can, at times, be somewhat of an understatement. For example, the other day, after putting away the groceries. l wadded up the plastic bags and tossed them onto the trash. Notice I said, “onto,” and not “into,“ because the trash was already full. Of course the dogs were busy nosing about the kitchen in hopes that what l just brought in would somehow become food. l suppose the wind produced from my scampering about blew the hoard of plastic bags off of the trash pile and onto the floor. What would be the natural reaction to any sane or logical being to plastic bags falling to the floor? Probably nothing at all. Definitely not jumping out of one‘s skin, running in the opposite direction while barking irrationally at them. Right? Right! But of course, we aren‘t dealing with sane nor rational beings. They are terriers. They are overtly territorial. Anything that invades their space that is unwelcome, uninvited, or unexpected is met with severe anxiety.

Although l looked at Layla like she was a lunatic and scolded her for her overreaction, l realized later that we act much the same way. Anything that invades our space, our territory, that is unwelcome, uninvited, or unexpected is met with severe anxiety. And such is the substance of life. It has a keen way of producing things that are out of our control; things we never expected to happen; and especially things that are uninvited and unwanted. So, how do you handle them? Layla likes to run away, barking madly at them. We have been given a better way.

Notice what Paul says in Philippians 4:6-7. “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” So. when life hands you something unwelcome, uninvited, and unexpected; do not allow the anxiety you feel cause you to react irrationally. Instead, pray about it. Tell Him how you feel, and ask Him for guidance. Remember to be thankful and focus on the good that you have been given. It is then that we will find a reason to no longer be anxious or worry, but realize that we have been here before. It didn’t defeat us then. Through Christ, it won’t defeat us now.

Jeremy Tucker
Dexter church of Christ
Dexter, MO

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