Sunday morning I found myself dragging around the house with a heavy heart, and not quite sure why.
I sat down to pray and read my Bible, and had a hard time focusing on God. (Surely this never happens to any of you, right?)
I bumbled through some prayers, and then felt even more frustrated. I know enough to know God isn’t the problem when my connection is weak, so I closed my eyes and sat quietly for a moment, just listening. I felt inspired to make a list in my prayer journal of all the things that were weighing me down.
In less than a minute I’d jotted down eight items right off the top of my head. That in itself is bad, because Jesus said very plainly, “Do not worry!” (Sometimes these things just pile up before you notice the heap… like filing. But that’s another subject for another post.)
I looked at the list, and sensed the Holy Spirit’s prompt to do the following:
“Place a check mark beside the items you actually have authority to do something about.”
Reluctantly, I complied. Of the eight weights I was hauling around, only four of them were actually things I can proactively DO something about. That’s half. The other 50 percent? Fears and worries… mostly about other people’s attitudes and behaviors.
I don’t have authority over other people’s attitudes and behaviors. (Believe me, the world would be a different place if I did!) I can pray FOR them, but I can’t change them. That’s not my job, it’s God’s. Ever tried to do someone else’s job? Ever try to do God’s job for him? Or Jesus’ job? Or the Holy Ghost’s? It causes spiritual fatigue, gray hair, frown lines, and upset stomach.
“Do not fret, it only causes harm.” Psalm 37:8
As long as I’m dragging around a bunch of problems that aren’t mine to solve, I’m going to feel like I’m hitting my head against a wall.
I can’t do anything about what other people think about me, or about the choices my adult children make, or whether or not someone will come along and buy our house… Worrying about those things is futile. Turning them over to God, now that’s smart!
- God, grant me the serenity
- To accept the things I cannot change;
- The courage to change the things that I can;
- And the wisdom to know the difference. ~The Serenity Prayer
I’m making this part of my remodeling, repurposing, reinventing year. I’m going to stop fretting and worrying about things I cannot change.
Yes, yes, I need to stop ALL worrying and fretting, but hey, I’ve gotta start somewhere, and so do you!