Weeks ago, Pastor Freed used this quote in his blog, Jack’s Winning Words – “Life makes pretzels of us all.” (Sarah Bird)
Life has a way of taking unexpected twists and turns that can tie us into knots and make pretzels of us all. I suspect that a big part of the impact that life’s surprises have on us is our inability to just go with the flow of life. Instead, we deny, avoid and fight against the unexpected changes that occur in life, choosing to hold on to our goals and plans instead of adjusting and formulating new ones that fit the situations in which we find ourselves. Don’t be a pretzel.
It is man’s ego that really causes the issues. We refuse to admit that things are beyond our ability to control. Rather than focusing upon our reaction to events, we continue to try to influence the events themselves. But we cannot change what has happened and what is yet to happen. In the present, we cannot really influence what is happening so much as how we are reacting to what is happening. Many times, instead of turning a failure into a learning experience, we continue to rail against it and look for others to blame. Don’t be a pretzel.
However, life is not a big conspiracy against us and we have no one, other than ourselves, to blame for any failures or disappointments. Perhaps, we did not train or practice enough to succeed. Perhaps, on this day our opponent was just better than us. Perhaps we did not appreciate the size and complexity of the challenge and did not plan our attempt to conquer it well enough. Perhaps instead of visualizing success, we saw failure in our future and we let that vision came true. Whatever the reason, things didn’t turn out as we had hoped. Don’t be a pretzel.
What are we to do about the twists and turns of life to avoid tying ourselves up in knots and becoming a pretzel? We can begin by letting go of the notion that we have the ability to control things – we don’t. A good way to get in the right frame of mind to allow yourself to flow with life, instead of becoming a pretzel, is to start your day with the simple prayer, “Not my will but Thy will be done.” Accepting that God’s will, and not yours, is in control of things allows you stop wasting your time railing against the inevitable and start focusing instead on how you can best react to what is happening. You can turn your natural “fight or flight” reaction to the unexpected into one of learning and adapting. Don’t be a pretzel.
So, will you be able to avoid life’s twists and turns? No. But you don’t have to let life tie you up into a pretzel. When life throws a twist in your way; right after you say to yourself, “I ‘didn’t see that coming”, pause and ask yourself, “I wonder what God has in mind for me in all of this?” That pause and question will put you in a frame of mind to start thinking clearly about how you should react and adjust to the situation, rather than just letting the fight or flight response take over your life and make a pretzel, out of you. Don’t be a pretzel.
Start each day with that simple little prayer and ask God to give you His peace in the face of the day’s twists and turns. God’s peace, which passes all understanding, will keep you from becoming a pretzel. Don’t be a pretzel.