In my post, Stupid Stuff Syndrome, I confessed that I have been known to overreact in various situations. Comments proved I am not alone in that! I shared that the mantra I try to keep in mind when I feel the urge to overreact is NBD (No Big Deal). I find it to be a good gut check when I am about to lose it over something that just doesn’t matter. But what about the stuff that does matter? Is everything small stuff? I don’t believe so.
I believe that there are a number of situations we can encounter in life that are in fact a big deal. It’s a big deal when your marriage is in shambles. It’s a big deal when your friend betrays you. It’s a big deal when a disease invades your body. Telling ourselves that it’s not a big deal will only add to the pain of our situation. We know that it matters, so what are we to do?
1. Gain Perspective. Only you have the ability to know when something is a big deal and when it’s not. Consider the long term implications of the situation and how it impacts those around you. Making light of a serious situation will not be beneficial in actually moving forward. Invite wise advisers and trusted friends into your situation and ask for their perspective. Take proper measures of self care (eat right, exercise, sleep, laugh) to help combat the desire to become an escape artist (anyone else a good escape artist?!?). Do some soul searching and take inventory of the situation. There is no way to determine what is going on if the fear of reflection has you paralyzed. Get help from a counselor to uncover the root of the problem if necessary and don’t judge yourself.
2. NBD – Enter NBD again. Only, this time it means Now Bow Down. This mantra is a gut check in two ways. It helps me understand that either I am overreacting or that what I am dealing with will actually require me to process and deal with something. When it’s a no big deal scenario I bow to the fact that this situation that has me momentarily ready to lose it will not last. I can bow my will and put someone else ahead of myself. Now bow down halts many minor annoyances in marriage and other relationships from becoming big things because it is the Biblical principle of not thinking more highly of yourself than you ought. It takes practice, but there is forward progress.
However in the bigger situations, those that are more than a mere annoyance, now bow down takes on an entirely new meaning. I am not just bowing my will for the betterment of someone else, I am doing it for the betterment of my own life. The ultimate opportunity to bow down comes when I recognize that God is involved in and cares about every situation I encounter. If it’s a big deal to me, it’s a big deal to Him. The question that is presented in that moment then is; “Am I willing to bow down this situation to my Father in heaven?” Perhaps the situation is so messed up there appears to be no way to clean it up. Now Bow Down. The pain of betrayal or rejection so intense it is debilitating. Now Bow Down. The fight ahead seemingly not worth fighting. Now Bow Down.
Now Bow Down.
God has a proven track recorded of being faithful and compassionate. A defender of the accused and a refuge for the weary. A light in the darkness and an ever present hope. If you don’t know God in these ways, maybe, just maybe, it’s a big deal situation that you bow down before Him that will open your eyes to the realization of Who He is. Now Bow Down is a mantra of trust and surrender. Trust in and surrender to the One who knows all about your situation and desires what is best for you. So yes, there are things in life that are a big deal, but I have learned there is Someone Who is bigger than any big deal situation I encounter.