What if you looked at your life right now and just for a moment considered that everything was exactly as it was supposed to be? The traffic jam that makes you late for work, the job loss, the cancelled date? The overbearing boss, the weight gain, the fighting with your husband, the failed exam? Perhaps there is a reason for the difficulty that we cannot understand right now. Perhaps these are opportunities for us to learn something? Or they are saving us for something worse, or better yet, they are leading us onto a path that will bring us to our better selves. I want you to let go of all the striving and desires, the dissatisfaction with you present circumstances and just accept them. Yes, I know that is not how we are made, but I just want to try an experiment. What if we take what may seem wrong or bad or negative and without reacting just accept it with no judgment. Can we allow God to turn it to good for us? Can we be at peace in our life situation and “let go and let God”. Just for the amount of time it takes to read this essay, can we accept the ups and downs of life without resistance and be still? To do our best to learn from the difficulties and ask God what He may be trying to show us? What a relief! What joy, you can feel the burdens rolling off our backs and we take a deep breath and our shoulders relax.
We’ve all been in situations when it feels like déjà vu all over again, and sometimes we find ourselves in the same disagreements 10 or even 20 years later. We say to ourselves, what the heck is going on? Here I am with different people, in a different place, but the same dissatisfactions. And if we think about it, we might let the fleeting thought enter our mind, that God is trying to teach us something, but we are not listening. I am learning to try to be still, certainly to trust in His will and to do my best to accept cheerfully the things that come my way. More than even counting my blessings, I am trying to be grateful for the things that don’t feel like blessings. Often, if I have the grace to breathe and be still, eventually I can see the good side or the positive aspect of the situation. Or maybe how it worked out better than I thought it could have. I have seen, when I let it be, that all things can work for good, if I but allow it. It is when I fight and claw and throw myself into trying to change things that I see that I have wasted precious time, energy and emotion and it doesn’t work the way I want anyway. I remember reading over 20 years ago, “Resistance is the problem, acceptance is the solution”. What peace, what joy, to let go and say, Your will be done Lord. I tell myself every morning, that God has it under control, so that I don’t have to and to be at peace. And when the crisis comes and I am terrified and I wake up in the middle of the night and I think surely we cannot survive, I turn to Him who saves and somehow we do survive and go on to fight another day.
Everyone we meet seems to be in a battle these days, we are all doing our best to survive many challenges, keeping close to God and praying is a great comfort in difficult times. As it happens, I find much guidance during prayer or reading scripture and then I can take the next step or I can somehow see from a different perspective and it can be the slightest shift that makes it okay and takes away the fear or the worry and I feel peace.
And there are joys in the journey. They might be small pleasures like a full tank of gas or the gift of flowers from a friend’s garden, perhaps your husband makes you a cup of tea in the morning or someone tells you they love you. These are the tender notes of love to encourage us on our way, we might do well in the midst of our striving and fixing, to take a moment and look to the fine design among the tapestry, for these are the gifts of our lives. “Oh my Jesus I trust in your divine love.” All will be well, all will be well.
Copyright 2013 Maureen O’Shea