I am probably preaching to the choir on this one, however it never hurts to hear it as a reminder. With a series of elements and circumstances that are out of our control, how much do we really want to lay claim to as our personal burden? We know these things weighs us down each day. My recommendation is a categorizing system based on Christian and personal priorities and taking a brief ownership. After that, you need to let go and let God.
Today was a classic example of lots of little things that needed to be let go. I made a bunch of mistakes, some big and some small. I had made a phone call to my health insurance that ran a little long. Then I got lost on my way to the doctor. Then I got confused. That never happens. In my panic to arrive on time, I made a driving error and hit another vehicle (very slowly). While normally this would have sent me off the deep end in worry and grief about insurance premiums, the chaos of being late, and causing strife to another fellow human, I instead took it in relative stride.
I told myself this: God has a plan for this. God has something for me to learn. Did I make a careless mistake? Yes. No one was injured. I decided that since I cannot control what has already happened that I am just going to have to live with the consequences and I won’t even know what those consequences are for the next several months. I had a lot of humility as I apologized to the lady, who didn’t actually accept my apology verbally. Then I needed to tell my husband, and humbled myself again about the incident. I gave all the truthful, painful details without sugarcoating anything.
In addition to that mistake, I had accidentally sent cheese pizza for lunch with the child who only likes pepperoni pizza, and I had sent pepperoni pizza with the child who only likes cheese pizza. Ugh!
Then there were some additional “feel bad” moments. I had promised to go with my husband to see my 11-year-old’s American Revolution walk-through play. Just as we were arriving, my husband (who is in the Navy) discovered that he was being summoned to go to work 3 hours earlier than expected. That’s the military for you. Your schedule is not your own. We had to leave the play and go get our truck out of the shop. Meanwhile, we ended up missing the play. When I showed up after school, I knew it would be bad. There were tears and pouts and general disappointment. I knew there wasn’t a whole lot I could have done to change the scenario. At that point, I just decided to try and make it up to him, with a treat from the ice cream truck and some In-N-Out burgers. While that wasn’t exactly a mistake, it was a “let go what is out of your control” moment. I took a brief time to own the hardship that this had caused my son. I did my best to remedy the situation and let it go.
My daughter showed up looking pouty too. Her reason: she had faith formation that night, and a pile of homework. She eventually worked herself up into a tizzy with a migraine. I tried to calmly reassure her that you have to choose to let some things go, and not feel too badly about them. You can’t control it all, and you can’t do it all. As it turned out, she took some ibuprofen, went to faith formation, and finished her homework. The key is, that sometimes when you take the pressure off, you can actually accomplish more. Everybody is built differently, and some work best under pressure. Others work better by having some breathing room.
Speaking of taking the pressure off, this is where Jesus comes in. Jesus, take the wheel. Jesus, take control. Jesus, I trust in you. Jesus, you will take my burden, and do Your Will with it. Jesus, You will handle it. I have done my best, and the rest of this is up to You. I surrender. All of this will improve your spiritual health, along with your mental health! For sanity’s sake!
I often have to remind myself of all these things. At dinner, my son reminded me of this (as his sister was complaining), “Just because something goes wrong doesn’t mean it has to be a bad day. It could be a good day. Look at me!”
I hope to keep on remembering to let things go and let God handle it since He is much more capable in every way.
Copyright 2018 Marya Hayes