the art of pre-panicking


At this particular moment on this particular day, I’m struggling to make sense of what exactly is going on. I’ve recently run into a number of setbacks and I feel like I’m at the point of pre-panic.

What is pre-panic?

Picture this: you’re driving along on a road, all is going well, it’s a nice day, music is great, birds are singing, hunky dory, etc. But look, there’s a bridge coming up. No big deal, except unbeknownst to you, the bridge is in bad shape. By the time you notice the bridge will leave you in a bad situation, you slam on the breaks.

But you hit the breaks too late, and you are now in that bad situation.

Pre-panic is that split second moment between realizing the danger and reacting to it. Sure, you can just not panic, but we’re all human… it’s something that just sneaks up on us like a well timed joke. While laughter helps you lose calories, panicking doesn’t do much of anything except maybe freak out or annoy others around you.

In my moment of pre-panic, while I’m driving in my car, I’m remembering that old saying about Jesus being my passenger (or the driver? I can’t remember which) but either way, I look over to realize everything is going to be alright. For all I know, the broken down bridge is probably part of the journey. Perhaps I need to pull over for a little while and wait for the bridge to be repaired. Maybe it’s safer to walk across the bridge. Or just maybe there’s another route around it altogether.

The point of the pre-panic is not to panic at all. Ultimately, when using that moment in time wisely, any “freaking out” will be to a minimum if none at all. Another word for it: rationalizing. But when was the last time you remember rationalizing and panicking at the same time?

While I don’t yet know at this point how I’m going to overcome this adversity, I do know that everything is going to be alright. God has brought me this far, I know he’s not going to leave me stranded for too long.

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