Brilliant! But, do I have a post that will offer something more substantial than a snappy title? Actually, when I dissect my own nature, attitudes and struggles, the concept presented in this title, is massively substantial. I’d like a chance to explain, and I’m hoping that by sharing what I’ve been learning and applying, it will help you to experience peace – the peace that surpasses all human understanding.
I’ve had a taste of it from time to time, but unfortunately the taste is gone too quickly. As I get older, there seems to be more opportunities to long for it. I’m speaking of peace. True peace. It’s very different from the “mind over matter” kind of peace that comes when I successfully distract myself, push a situation out of my mind, or when I have time to go to a quiet place. These can be useful and very nice, but the peace that puts my mind, heart and soul at ease, is very different. It’s like a supernatural tranquilizer. There’s either no angst or worry, or it’s very short-lived, and at the core of this, is the very simple fact that He is God and I am not. It is an unwavering trust, belief and knowledge, that God will bring beauty out of my ashes. Sure, I could get impatient, cook something up, hatch a plan to manipulate my circumstances or the people in my life, but even my most extraordinarily crafted plan, pales in comparison to what God has for me and others.
What does this actually look like? It’s complicated, but it’s simple. Here’s what it’s looking like in my own life.
>When I have anxiety, I examine myself for control-freak tendencies. Am I wanting to control the actions or methods of a person, or the outcome of a situation? Stop. Confess it, and give it to God for proper handling.
>When I see a problem in someone’s life or attitude, I examine myself, looking for a large piece of wood. In other words, while I’m trying to remove the speck of saw-dust in someone’s eye, is my gigantic log swinging around and whacking them in the head?
>When I see a need for change, I remember that just because I’ve pointed something out, doesn’t mean the change will happen immediately, or that it is even necessary. Frankly, I may have been wrong.
>When someone has hurt me, blame-shifted onto me, or gossiped about me, I remind myself that I don’t need to seek vindication or vengeance, because God knows the truth, He loves truth, and He will set things straight in His perfect time.
>I work hard to keep my life caught up, bills paid and spending under control, because crisis management steals peace.
>When I’m worried about my children, I remind myself that God loves them even more than I do.
>When my children’s attitudes or choices concern me, I remind myself that I have no right to expect them to be further along on their path, than I was at their age.
>When others are unkind, I remind myself that I will have zero regrets, if I control myself and allow room for God to work it out.
You’ve probably noticed that in order to respond correctly, there must be a shift in thinking and action. I emphasize this point because this is where most of us get into trouble. I’m a thinker, and my mind never seems to shut down, so I literally repeat the following statement as often as needed. “The only person that I have control over is me. The only spiritual work that I’m responsible for, is my own work with God. That other person is not accountable to me – they are accountable to God.”
There you go – it’s that simple. I said simple, not easy. He’s God and I’m not. This is where transforming peace can occur. There’s incredible peace in knowing that the omnipotent, omniscient and omnipresent God is bigger than anything going on in your life, and He’s definitely not wringing His hands in worry. Take your thoughts captive to Him. Cast your anxiety on Him as many times as you need to, and then replace your concerns with truths about who God is, and His endless love and mercy.