Ever had one of those moments when you think to yourself, “Oh crap, I don’t know what to say or what to do”? You recognize this instant as something big, significant and meaningful. Yet, you are at a loss for words.
I experienced these thoughts and feelings recently as I watched the movie, No Escape. In the movie, a family is trapped in a foreign country bursting with political upheaval. The rebels were killing people who appeared to be foreigners. The whole movie revolved around the parent’s (Jack and Annie) sole promise to get their family out of the country alive.
No Escape was inflamed with 94 realistic, breath-taking minutes of suspense. There was a point in the movie where Jack didn’t know what to do and he began to fall apart. His family was in grave danger and all their protection and reinforcements were dead. He was having a, “This is BAD” moment.
Truthfully, as I watched scene after scene, I held my breath and felt the panic like I was actually experiencing what was happening. I had to purposefully remember to breathe because it was so intense!
A quick thought ran through my head, “What would I do if I were in this situation. What if my husband, children and I were overcome with fear and in imminent danger like this?” I knew my instincts would kick , I would react and do something. However, unsure of what I would do.
Jack is panic-stricken, frozen in fear and turns to Annie because he doesn’t know what to do. There is a gap of about 3 nanoseconds between Jack’s fear and Annie’s response. This was the most vital nanosecond pause in the movie and it felt like it went on forever!
As Annie looks into Jack’s eyes, I make up that she is thinking. “Oh S***, he doesn’t know what to do? He’s falling apart and we’ve got to do something!” In her short pause she found the answer. I’m not sure what she did in the brief silence but it got me to thinking about what I would do.
I thought, “This is a life or death decision. If he doesn’t make the right choice, they’ll all die. A pause, or quick assessment could be the deal breaker. In real life, jumping in and doing something may not always be the wisest thing to do.”
A pause, gap, break, hiatus, rest or hesitation can be life changing. Sometimes those moments are a little longer than others depending upon the situation and circumstances.
Jack turned to Annie for support, guidance and encouragement. Annie was tuned in and her survival skills kicked into high gear. She knew exactly what Jack needed to hear.
While this was just a movie (which I am thankful for) I learned a lot. Whether I am in a situation where I need to respond quickly or take time to decide, a pause is necessary.
Just like Jack and Annie, when I am paying attention, I clearly know what I need to do. Typically, options include:
- Pause- The length of the pause is dependent on the situation. The pause can give direction and clarity. The Lord often encourages us in his word to “be still”. It’s in the calm we find answers. (Psalm 37:7, 46:10)
- Pray-In the pause, I’ve found the Lord will offer an answer when I ask for help. (Jeremiah 29:12, Jeremiah 6:16) In addition, I need to be willing to let go of my agenda and listen for guidance.
- Seek advice from a trusted support system. Having a reliable pool of people to call on and seek advice from is essential for healthy living.
Often times, it is helpful to use all three options. While most of us don’t live in life threatening circumstances like Jack and Annie, but we can be ready for day-to-day living and stressful times ahead.
Next time you have an “Oh crap, I don’t know what to do moment”, you will know what to do.