Respond or React: how do you live?


Melanie Marino, writer

“Do you respond to life, or are you merely reacting to it?” (Zig Ziglar).

In our lives, new situations and experiences are constantly being thrown at us day after day. Whether it’s a friend getting in a car accident, having to move away, or a sibling going to college, our automatic reaction to these situations is often to, well, react.

Contrary to what we might think, simply reacting gets us nowhere; in fact, it usually makes the situation worse. Reacting often comes without thinking, and that causes us to take a course of action that may not be the best.

One reason we react to life is because we feel like we have no control over the situations we are going through. Responding instead of reacting takes patience, something that’s hard to have when we feel overwhelmed and out of control.

I recently returned from a mission trip to Nicaragua where we talked a lot about letting God take control of our lives. No matter how hard we try, we cannot keep our lives together on our own. Even if it seems to work for a while, we can never know how long it might last before we fall apart again. The only way that we can have control over our lives is to give God control.

This week, I challenge you to let go and let God. I think you’ll find that giving up control of your life will make it so much easier to pause, take a deep breath, and respond to life.