Survive Quicksand Moments

April 28, 2015
By Reverend Paul N. Papas II

Sometimes it seems like a bad day just keeps getting worse. Bad news and pressure seem to build with every additional word and there seems to be no escape. You seem to be boxed in with nowhere to go, no relief, and no escape. You have a sinking feeling that all is lost. You may entertain the thought to lash out and start thrashing about, don’t. First don’t panic.

Fear, anxiety, worry could lead to disastrous consequences, even death.

Sometimes the best thing to do in those circumstances is nothing. Yes nothing, be still, even if you feel like a squeezed ketchup bottle. Sometimes the thing you resist will persist. Even God tells us to be still when all seems lost.

Something we don’t hear a lot about is quicksand. If you happen to get caught in quicksand the worst thing you can do is to start thrashing around.

How to survive being trapped in quicksand.

First, don’t panic! Panicking in quicksand is pretty much one of the few ways to turn this slightly dangerous situation into deadly.

Second, if you are wearing something heavy attached to yourself like a backpack, unstrap it immediately if you feel it pushing you down.

Outside of having something attached to yourself that is heavy relative to its volume vs. the mass of the quicksand per unit volume, it turns out that it is impossible to sink in quicksand.

If you were simply to stand completely still, the lowest you are likely to sink is to around your waist. Thrashing around however, has been shown to cause the sediment and water to separate somewhat. This will cause you to sink deeper and deeper the more you thrash, to the point where you’re almost completely submersed; then your thrashing, due to some suctioning effects, can pull you under.

Not all bad days or bad circumstances have such dire consequences as quicksand however each is adding strength of character to those who don’t give in to the negative.

Each character building block is having its rough edges smoothed out with each additional experience.

People become stronger as a result of experiencing quicksand moments.

Bodybuilders do not increase their strength by lounging in an overstuffed chair and watching movies.

Bodybuilders go through a lot of pain and self denial in order to be make the front page of a body building magazine.

Worrying adds nothing to your life, it can however shorten your life. People who worry a lot don’t have joy and they are not a joy to be around.

People who face tough circumstances and don’t let pride get in the way are more likely to receive assistance from someone else. In order to receive that help you must stop and be still.

Sometimes the thing that deflates a bad day or bad circumstance is a kind or gentle word. The kind or gentle word can cause us to be still to hear more.

This video is a good example being still then being rescued from quicksand.

Our nature is to do something to correct something, at times we will have to go against our nature to receive the best possible outcome.

For best results in life without fear and anxiety; be still, Listen for that Still Small Voice.

Reverend Paul N. Papas II is a Pastoral Counselor with Narrow Path Ministries (MA and AZ) and Founder of the Family Renewal Center (AZ) and


4 Responses to Survive Quicksand Moments

  1. Hello Reverand,

    What really resonated with me was that last line of your post, and I repeat, ” Our nature is to do something to correct something, at times we will have to go against our nature to receive the best possible outcome.”

    This is an exceptionally powerful statement and is intrinsically what Leadership is all about. We remain conditioned to base our reactions on our past experience. While this works, it also ties us down to a past driven default future, which shuts out new possibilities and risk taking creativity. As Leaders, we need to go against this nature, as you rightly say, to receive the best possible outcome.

    Interestingly, in my current post,’ That never-ending cycle of our problems and solutions…….’ I too have dwelled on this aspect.



  2. Come and see what God has done, the amazing things he has done for people. PSALM 66:5

    We need to hear that God is still in control. We need to hear that it’s not over until he says so. We need to hear that life’s mishaps and tragedies are not a reason to bail out.They are simply a reason
    to sit tight.

    Corrie ten Boom used to say, “When the train goes through a tunnel and the world gets dark, do you jump out? Of course not. You sit still and trust the engineer to get you through” …

    The way to deal with discouragement? The cure for disappointment? Go back and read the story of God. Read it again and again. Be reminded that you aren’t the first person to weep. And you aren’t the first person to be helped.

    Read the story and remember, [the] story is yours!



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