|(Peanuts comic strip credit to Peanuts Worldwide @ schulzmuseum.org)|
And it struck a chord with me.
See, I can remember periods in my life when I would live by this philosophy. I didn't choose to live this way; it just seemed to be my default setting when life got tough.
If only I can make it to Friday afternoon, the weekend will be better.
If only I finish grad school, I can get out of this boring job and get a really good one.
If only I can find a better job or get a transfer to a better school, or a better area, or closer to home; things will be better.
If only I can survive my child's terrible two's, or four's, or twelve's, or teen's; things will get easier.
If only I can get caught up on these work deadlines; my days will be more relaxed.
If only I can get past my required daily routine; I will have time to rest.
I could go on and on...but the point is...that I was living during those times by just "mentally surviving" day by day. My hope was in some potential future state of "better."
Maybe I am only one of a small percentage of people in the world who ever lives this way. Though, I suspect I'm not. I suspect there are many who put on a happy face sometimes; but inside they are just dreading things, day by day.
If only I made more money....
If only I could find the right boyfriend, girlfriend, spouse....
If only this bad thing hadn't happened in my past...
If only I could make time to go on vacation....
If only someone hadn't left me....or passed away....
Stop. Just stop.
I finally discovered a better way, a better daily philosophy. And that philosophy is based on this:
"Cast all your anxiety on him, because he cares for you." - 1 Peter 5:7
And that is exactly what I do. When I wake up, and as I'm getting ready for the day, I just cast it over to Him. I usually don't even ask for anything specific. I don't ask for any particular outcome. I literally just cast -- or toss -- all my concerns to Him. Sometimes I imagine myself with a large sack, like a stuffed laundry sack, tossing it over to Him.
He asked for my anxieties! So I let Him have them! If I don't give them to Him after He asked for them; then I'm just responsible for making my own mess in my own head.
The reason I typically do not ask for a particular outcome is because I can trust that He already knows the best outcome -- and if I give it to Him; with no strings attached, and with no demands for a particular outcome, then He will work out what He wants -- in His way - without my interference.
And His way is much better than mine. It develops within me a better attitude. His way helps me to focus on the positive and on the small victories and pleasant moments within each day.
At the end of the day, I find that:
My way brings me overwhelm and stress.
His way brings me peace and rest.
I typically pray something simple, like this near the beginning of the day:
"Lord, I wake up. I don't even know what to ask for or what to look for today. I'm starting to feel stressed about all I have to do, and I'm becoming overwhelmed. I just give it to you. Go before me and work things out according to what you know is best. I know it may be a tough day; but I am trusting you to get me through...and with a right attitude."
turning dread into joy;
turning sorrow into purpose;
turning restlessness into rest; and
knowing that our hope is not in a future "better;"
but that our hope is in the risen Lord, who overcame everything -- even death -- in a way that only He can do.
And He is with us in in spirit in our day by day. When we remember that as often as we can throughout the day; we are "practicing His presence," and everything changes in perspective.
"Let the morning bring me word of your unfailing love, for I have put my trust in you. Show me the way I should go, for to you I entrust my life." -Psalms 143:8 (NIV)
If you would like to learn simple, practical ways to walk with God every single day, then you would really enjoy Closer to God: Simple Methods, Starting Today
If you want to learn more deeply and fully about what Jesus taught, then you would enjoy He Called: 56 Daily Studies and Reflections with the Words of Christ. There are also 14 videos that go along with this book on this blog here: Teachings of Jesus videos
The author also interacts with her readers on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/GospelLifeBooks
Author's other books can be found at: https://www.amazon.com/Sherry-Elaine-Evans