The word “hijack” conjures images of masked gunmen taking over a plane, or other forms of transportation, making demands, and creating fear and panic. While this is the standard picture, on a more personal level, many things conspire to hijack our thoughts and lives, sending us off course, and creating chaos.
Your captors may differ from mine, but following are a few of life’s hijackers:
Each week, when my blog goes live, I post it to several social media sites. Often, I check the blog link on these posts later that day or the next day. Late Thursday night, when I checked the link, I was greeted by an explosion of confetti and encouraged to click a link to receive my prize. Thankfully, I had enough sense to realize something was amiss with my website. The next day, I began the tedious process of contacting my website host and spending time and money to have malware removed.
Recently, I talked to a friend who lamented the days when computers and cell phones didn’t control our lives, a time when people wrote letters, had face-to-face conversations, read books, and enjoyed nature. While many still do these things, more often than not, most of us spend our days glued to screens.
Technology is a blessing and a curse. While it provides ready access to information and learning opportunities and connects us to others, it’s also extremely challenging and frustrating at times and has the potential to overtake our lives.
This year brought a steep learning curve for many who have been forced to teach school, conduct meetings, or shift conferences to virtual mode. The accompanying challenges presented by technology glitches often overwhelm, yet through these challenges we learn and adapt.
The balance between technology, family time, and rest is a tightrope walk that requires intentionality and focus. Don’t allow technology snafus and absorption to overtake your life.
The perils of social media are plentiful. Increasingly, social media has become an outlet for political sparring, rants, and poor-pitiful-me posts. Often, it’s tempting to fire off a comment. Resist the urge. Take a step back, disengage, and let the banter play out without you.
While social media provides connection to others, it’s also a platform that has the ability to stir up contentious conversation, invoke anger, and hijack your thoughts. Even when not responding to posts, we often waste time allowing our minds to formulate a comeback. Instead, find ways to clear your mind of social media tension by taking some time off or skimming past posts that immediately scream controversy. And don’t forget, you can mute those whose posts are always negative and controversial.
Is there someone in your life who loves to create drama out of nothing? This person may be in your family, a business colleague, or someone else who targets you as a ready audience on which to inflict their drama. No matter the source, these people drag you into unwanted encounters and make you think about issues that really aren’t yours.
Take steps to limit interaction with those who thrive on crises and use them to gain attention. You don’t have to be a referee or serve as intermediary to drama creators and promoters.
This year, life has handed us a lot that falls into the category of unexpected. While a pandemic tops the list, weather events and national chaos run a close second. For me, last week was one of those I’d like to consign to the “never repeat” category. It began with an earthquake, progressed to malware hijacking my website, and ended with a couple of violent storms that trashed the yard on a property for sale, dropped a tree in the neighbor’s yard, and left another tree in fall-any-minute mode. As a side order to this full plate a-plenty, my Fitbit bit the dust.
Once a few unexpected occurrences happen in rapid succession, it leaves us feeling as if we’re on the verge of more. We realize our lack of control and forget that circumstances can change for the better as rapidly as they seemed to tilt into chaos. Keep looking ahead, trusting God for tomorrow.
The definitions of dread are many: apprehension, uneasiness, reluctance, trepidation, panic, fear, anxiety. If you bundle all those words together, you get a definition of 2020. Fear of the future is one of the biggest deterrents to forward motion. When we allow external elements and fears to take control of our lives, they rob us of peace, and peace is what we all need during these challenging times.
By examining the hijackers in your life and acting to eradicate or minimize them, you take a huge step forward in calming fears and enhancing peace.
“Be strong and courageous. Do not fear or be in dread of them, for it is the Lord your God who goes with you. He will not leave you or forsake you.” Jeremiah 31:6 ESV
Candy Arrington is a writer, blogger, speaker, and freelance editor. She often writes on tough topics with a focus on moving beyond difficult life circumstances. Candy has written hundreds of articles, stories, and devotionals published by numerous outlets including: Inspiration.org, Arisedaily.com, CBN.com, Healthgrades.com, Care.com, Focus on the Family, NextAvenue.org, CountryLiving.com, and Writer’s Digest. Candy’s books include When Your Aging Parent Needs Care (Harvest House) and AFTERSHOCK: Help, Hope, and Healing in the Wake of Suicide (B&H Publishing Group).
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