I was taught that panic is a feeling you get when things get overwhelming. And when you are in a state of panic, you feel like you can’t hold the anxiety any longer as it pushes out of you like a wave, making your thoughts run wild.
And isn’t it easy to get into a panic state, especially when you don’t know the state of your affairs?
I never really cared about the etymology of the word panic, but as I was growing up, I learned from one of the sermons at church the origin of the word.
You don’t have to look it up anymore. Here’s from Merriam-Webster:
‘Panic’ comes from the name of the Greek god Pan, who supposedly sometimes caused humans to flee in unreasoning fear.Word History: The Mythological Origin of ‘Panic’
And recently, I have felt an overwhelming fear that made me think about what panic means and what it does to a person who allows it to take hold of him.
When fear overtakes you, it becomes difficult to think of what’s real. Your mind is filled with all the what-ifs that always end with you cowering in shame and defeat. That’s what panic does, to always put you in a hopeless state; there’s no hope and it ends here.
But then, if panic is a state you go through, there must be a way out of it the same way you get into it. And so I sought the name of the Lord and filled my thoughts with songs of praise, drowning in the fear and allowing my mind to seek the peace of God to help me think through the chaos of my mind.
Why did I seek to fill my mind with good things?
Anxiety in a man’s heart weighs it down,Proverbs 12:25 (NASB 1995)
But a good word makes it glad.
And the more I crowded out the fear building inside my head, my mind starts to have a space for rational thinking. Here’s what I did:
- I prayed to the Lord to grant me peace and wisdom, allowing me to transcend from my situation and see the things I can do.
- I wrote down what worried me. Seeing them in writing allows me to see how my fears are problems with probable solutions. And seeing them in writing makes them real and tangible, not just a feeling causing my brain to run in overdrive.
As a matter of fact, translating my fears into words I can read allowed me to specify the things I want to seek help for. And where does my help come from? My help comes from the Lord.