Wednesday, May 1, 2019

What is God trying to teach me today?

I saw an old Facebook posting I'd made years ago.  I wrote, "So what's God trying to teach me with a day like today? Keep my head where it belongs, stop trying to fix the stuff that's not mine to fix, and let Him deal with the things outside of my control? " 

It certainly would have been handy to remember that consistently in the years that followed!

Tasks half-done or poorly done because of distractions might have been avoided if I had kept my mind on the project in front of me.   And remembering that every task done is an offering to God would certainly have resulted in better efforts, and probably better outcomes as well.

Some of us are "fixers" by nature.  If someone is having trouble, our first inclination is to jump in there and fix it for them.  That's me.  But we don't always know what's best.  When we fix someone else's situation, we not only take full responsibility for the outcomes, but we deprive them of the joy and confidence that comes from fixing their own situations.  We can and should help, but taking over the situation blurs boundaries that are necessary for the good of everyone.  Taking responsibility for everyone else's problems puts a huge load on us - a load that we were not designed to carry - and cripples those we are intending to help.  Many of us know the story of the butterfly struggling to emerge from its cocoon.  A man watching the process decided to help it rather than watch it struggle.  He did not know that the process was a necessary one to develop its wings and body properly.  As a result of the man's "help," the butterfly was never able to fly.   We need to help each other as appropriate, but there's a difference between helping and fixing.

Certainly one of the most frustrating things in life is trying to control things that are outside of our control.  What an exercise in futility!   We can diligently save our money, but a string of unfortunate events can wipe it all out very quickly.  We can work hard to make good decisions, but no decision is foolproof.  So much of life is outside of our control - but there is nothing that is outside of God's control.  Doing the best we can, and then placing it in God's hands and leaving it there is the only course of action that provides any peace whatsoever.  We need to accept that the situation may or may not go as we had hoped and planned for.  But at the same time, holding on to the knowledge that God knows what we do not and provides what we cannot, builds faith and trust, both of which are the most precious commodities we can accumulate in our time here on earth.   Even when - especially when - the bottom falls out.  He promises never to leave nor forsake us.

So what is God trying to teach me today?  Keep my head where it belongs, stop trying to fix stuff that's not mine to fix, and let Him deal with the things outside of my control.  Have a blessed day.

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