“I wish it need not have happened in my time,” said Frodo. “So do I,” said Gandalf, “and so do all who live to see such times. But that is not for them to decide. All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us.” J.R.R. Tolkien
So many things are out of our control, especially in these days of coronavirus challenges and economic travail. But before lockdowns and quarantines circumstances out of our control may also have wrecked havoc with our lives.
People may have done things of the not nice variety that were out of our control.
At times health challenges may have spiraled out of our control.
It’s tough navigating the out of control things in our lives when unpredictable storms knock us about. It’s hard to know what to do.
We can’t change what can’t be changed – what’s out of our control. But, we can change our responses, attitudes and actions – what’s in our control.
Therein lies the rub.
Years ago this vivacious redhead always liked to be liked. (Most people do!) When I encountered persnickety colleagues in my first job, my wise Papa shared this advice: “You can’t control the actions of others, but you can control your response to them.”
We can choose not to stoop to levels of unkindness when nasty rhetoric is flying about. Instead we can try to engage others constructively, and ourselves while we’re at it.
When pressure builds up in the out of control areas of our lives, we can feed our internal pressure cookers with worry and anxiety until eventually – poof! – we explode.
Or, like my beloved boss Bill told me many times in the heat of a Middle Eastern conflict zone: “Virginia, go stand in front of the fan!” We can go stand in front of the fan and cool down.
Standing in front of the fan of God’s love, we can let go and let God have a go at taking our worries, hurts, and disappointments. The anxiety that is keeping us up at night.
It doesn’t mean our out-of-control problems will disappear, but (if we ask) God’s love and peace will permeate the pressure cookers of our lives with infinite grace to deal with them – one day at a time.
“Overcome the finite with the Infinite.” Mother Teresa (Saint Teresa of Calcutta)
grace, peace & Infinite Grace
Virginia : )
“We have all received from His fullness grace upon grace.” John 1:16
p.s. Virginia has been off the blogosphere since an out-of-control case of strep throat erupted last week. A few symptoms tracked with COVID-19 (a bit worrisome) but thankfully once antibiotics kicked in (and popsicle therapy was fully engaged) I am feeling much better. Still recovering but thanking God it’s not the coronavirus!