Spirituality, Liturgy and the Tao of Inner Peace
I have had what Oprah would call a light bulb moment. I can’t say the concept that lit up my bulb is new to me, it’s been explained before, but I think I really got it this time.
Let me first use a visual, a story of sorts, to illustrate my point. Imagine a girl sitting in a nice cozy cottage, the fireplace is ablaze and the room has a warm glow. She has a cup of hot coffee, just like she likes it, and is sitting enjoying the company of her father. Suddenly, it begins to rain outside, this disturbs the peacefulness inside her and she becomes agitated with the rain. She grabs her rain coat and stands on the porch shaking her head up to the clouds, how dare it rain today?! Her father calls her
back inside, she sits, but only for a moment sipping her coffee and reading her book. Soon, she’s up again this time out into the rain shaking her fist at the clouds, bellowing, “WHY?! Why are you sending rain today!! STOP this rain right NOW!” Her father calls for her to come back in, but she can’t even hear his voice over the rain and thunder. She continues getting soaking wet and screaming at the sky, “Why? Why? Stop this instant…!”
Simple little story, that might seem silly, but how often do we rail against the rain? How many times are we faced with a friend who’s left us? A lover that betrayed us? A job we lost that we don’t understand the reason why? What do we do? We spend hours asking why? We talk it over with friends and family hoping to get an answer. Jesus says “Come inside where it’s warm, and you are safe and sound.” Again, Jesus tries to get our attention, and at times we are so caught up in our anger and frustration at the situation we don’t even hear him call. We can no more change what happened, than the little girl can stop the rain by yelling at the sky. Yet, we persevere in our torment of ourselves. We continue to upset ourselves with memories and questions and sometimes going over and over the situation. Yet in all of that we cannot change the situation. Would not our time be better spent running to the Father? Coming inside if you will? To accept our situation, lay our burdens down, and deal with the hand we have been dealt? If we would spend that energy on looking for the positives, being grateful for what we do have, looking for the next door to open might we find peace? What possibilities lie ahead of us, when we begin to dance through the storm?
I have learned that the idea of control is a fairy-tale we love to believe in, but rarely encounter in our lives. We have no real control over the actions and feelings of others, and we are not nearly as capable of manipulating situations as we would like to think. I can only control me and that’s a full-time job! So today I propose, don’t waste your precious time, as I have, railing at the rain. You cannot control what someone else does or says or the choices they make, you can only control your responses. Dance, dance through life’s storms, find the message, the lesson, learn from it, and move forward! If you made a mistake, forgive yourself and do better next time. If you made a bad choice, choose wiser next time. If rain is just pouring on you and it’s not your fault, but you can’t change it — give it to God, accept it, and move on. I know it’s not always easy but just think of the little girl yelling at the sky…is that you?
Everything is exactly as it should be