Pear /pɛː/ noun A green, spotty, funny-shaped fruit that doesn’t taste good unless combined with walnuts and balsamic vinegar. Pear-shaped / adjective Lumpy, bottom-heavy, kinda weird, not ideal.
Sometimes life goes truly pear-shaped. It happens to all of us in different ways, whether it’s unexpected family news, a broken dream, or confused heart. We can feel defeated, and at a loss to know what to do next. But before we consider ‘next steps’, what are we supposed to do in the midst of a truly pear-shaped experience?
Know that Your Challenge is Secondary to Your Calling
Your day may be rough, but your calling is sure. Words like ‘suddenly’, ‘immediate’, ‘urgent’, and ‘unexpected’ all have the ability to distort perspective. They enlarge what’s right in front of us, pulling our focus from the bigger picture. Our attention becomes governed by need and expectation, instead of purpose. When you’re feeling the weight of accumulated difficulty and the ‘light at the end of the tunnel’ is so far off you’re not even sure you’re in a tunnel… remember Who you follow.
God has called you to a purpose. He has chosen you, and determined you to be His glorious example on earth. Whatever challenge you face is secondary to His calling. Don’t let it wriggle up the ranks.
Pay Attention to What You Turn To
We all have strategies to deal with the unexpected. Built from habits, education, or a chosen approach, on our best days our default might be ‘by the book’, praying and consoling ourselves in God. But on our worst, with pressures hitting new heights, it’s reaching for chocolate, shopping, or seeking affirmation. Any quick fix of pleasure. Instead of wallowing in your ‘failings’ though, how about paying attention: what are you turning to when capacity is stretched? Where do you look for peace?
In times of tension we often see our true character displayed. As difficult as your circumstance may be, seize the opportunity to address what surfaces. Outlets aren’t unhealthy, but they can be destructive. It pays to consider whether ours is undermining Christ’s perfect peace.
Determine that Fear is Not Your Leader
Unexpected situations often cause a need to make an unexpected choice. There’s a lot that influences how we make a choice. In instances of the unexpected we may have to decide whether we can still go to university, should keep our current job, move house, or break up with that guy/girl. It’s scary when the unknown is in front of you and you’ve got to make a move, (especially if confrontation is not your shtick).
One decision to make right now is: fear is not my leader. It may be a factor in how you feel, but it will not determine where you go. Fear’s destination is a place of isolation, lack, and uncertainty. It belittles your ability, questions your identity, and robs you of expression and purpose.
There’s always a reason why change is scary, but don’t let fear have final say over the direction of your life. If you know you need to get out of that relationship, job, or neighborhood, do it. Take heart in Christ’s free gift of courage.
You’ve got this.