Everyone at one time or another has said, “Please stop the world; I want to get off! It was my folks’ favorite saying when things would fall apart and go wrong.
We tend to feel it’s only us, but it’s worldwide! We are all at odds with our lives on occasion. “There was a time when my wife and I had a misunderstanding. I wished for the world to stop, get off and come back later after our anger has passed,” mused my friend Frank.
If it were only so easy to stop the world, but it is not. Thus, we must keep moving forward because we are unable to halt its movement.
When people we love, those in authority or those in our sphere of influence, fall from our expectations, disappoint us, betray us or frustrate our plans, what do we do? How do we act or react given the circumstances? Do we make it a habit to lift the situation to our God? Do we look for solutions to the matter at hand? Do we face them with a level head and keep our emotions at bay, careful to control our tongue, our pen, even our posts on social media? Or do we rant and rave all we want, hurting ourselves and others in the process, yet unable to change anything?
How often do we read of youth, adults, celebrities, ministers, people from all walks of life give in to depression, commit suicide or worst, commit murder as a result?
When we lose someone, we want to stop the world and freeze time right there and then so that we don’t lose them forever.
When we age, we want to stop the world to prevent the gray hairs, the wrinkles, the body aches, the senior moments, the forgetfulness, the empty nest. Yet it is during this season of life when we do not want to get off just yet because in a matter of time, we will “get off”—whether we like it or not!
When we find that special someone, we want to stop the world, to capture the bliss and the romance in order to stay in their arms forever. Anything that makes us happy contribute to our hope of freezing some moments in time.
We tend to think that we can stop the world, but we cannot. We are beholden to live within the time and space allotted to us on earth. Only our sovereign God holds everything, including our lives in the palm of His hands.
“Please stop the world. I want to get off” must be an expression triggered by various factors in our lives. Let it stay that way—a momentary status, a temporary post. Then after taking deep breaths and precious moments with our Maker, we will revert to our original slate. After all is said and done, we will declare, “What a wonderful world.”
I think I’m going to stay until He decides to call me Home.
Here are some suggestions should you find yourself wanting to “stop the world to get off”:
- Identify the cause or causes of your frustration or disappointment.
- Write down your findings in a journal. Enumerate your negative actions or reactions regarding the situation.
- Bring yourself to write down the positive outcomes if you face the existing problem or crisis at hand. List all the possible options you could respond to the situation, and weigh the pros and cons of each one.
- Call or talk to a trusted friend, spiritual counselor, life group leader or someone in authority who is willing to listen, give advice or process things with you, pray for you.
- Never isolate yourself from the people who love you.
- Take some time to reflect upon the goodness of God, to smell the roses.
- Turn your attention towards helping others. Make a positive difference in someone’s life through your support, compassion, and words that build up. Volunteer to help or assist a group who ministers to the needy. Being concerned for others helps curb the spiral into self-absorption.
- If symptoms persist, seek medical help from a professional.
Teresita (Tess) E. Vigan and her husband, Manuel, are full-time ministers at Christ’s Gospel Fellowship, in Plaridel, Bulacan. Their vision is to win souls for Christ and produce disciples from every sector of society. They have a son, Simon Oliver, 24.