Anxiety causes me to respond quickly to situations that do not require a quick response, but rather a thoughtful and prayerful and deliberate one.
Someone calls to say, there’s been a sudden health crisis event. I throw myself into action as though I were called to be a first responder on the scene. Do they want my presence – perhaps. Is it urgent – probably not. The situation certainly is, but my physical presence may not be. But my pastoral anxiety revs up and I throw myself into busy action. What is probably most needed of me at that moment is not to run to the scene as a physical presence, but to fall to my knees as an intercessor wherever I am. There will likely be plenty of opportunity to be physically present., and the time in prayer will also help me to discern how/when to respond most faithfully. Christ rarely hurried anywhere, and in fact when informed that Lazarus was dying, Jesus delayed his visit 3 days. Lazarus’ family and friends weren’t very happy with Jesus, but it was the faithful response none the less.
What does it mean for me to follow Jesus as I minister to people in the midst of crisis events in their lives? What’s the proper relationship between their urgency and my own agency? How will I grow away from being a crisis knee jerk?