The Parkersons have rules in their family. And I was introduced to this by little Micah (not my son, Micah … the Parkersons also have a Micah) while we were having a big breakfast at the Parkerson house a few weeks ago in Jackson. Little Micah Parkerson spilled his drink all over himself, stood in his chair, and very firmly declared, “Don’t freak out!” As I was fairly amazed and amused by this exchange, David Parkerson, the father, explained that they have rules in their family, and rule number one is: don’t freak out.
I knew immediately I would adopt this rule. They have others that were good but not necessarily as universal as the first rule. What a great rule.
A great deal of problems in the world happen when people give into that first reaction and FREAK OUT, then make decisions in that state. This doesn’t mean that there aren’t real crises and emergencies in the world or in our individual lives, but for those of us who serve a God for whom nothing is impossible, we have to curb our emotional responses and instead address the situation with truth and His ability, which is literally infinite, omniscient, and omnipotent.
In our church, we believe the Bible to be authoritative to life and godliness and good doctrine. In that precious book, we have testimony after testimony of people in actual life threatening situations that instead overcame by faith instead of just freaking out. In fact, we are told in no uncertain terms that we shouldn’t freak out. “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, make your requests known to God.” (Phil 4:6)
You can’t help the initial thought to freak out or the initial emotional response. As my mentor used to say, you can’t keep a bird from landing on your head but you can keep it from building a nest there. Once you recognize it for what it is, being “transformed by the renewing of your mind” means that you reject that “freak out” thought and instead be thankful (guess what, you still have things to be thankful for) and bring your requests to God who is able to do all things. And those words “nothing” and “everything” are important words; there are no situations too critical to apply this. And we see this truth from Genesis through Revelation in some pretty valid emergencies and even history changing events.
So I made the official announcement at our meeting on Saturday night. Rule #1 for the whole church: don’t freak out.
PS … if you’ve been singing the song the whole time, here it is.