I think I've read the funnies in the paper every day of my life. I still read them although the Albuquerque Journal's funnies aren't as good as those in the Tulsa World. The Journal has one page, the World has two. One of my favorites is Pickles. Today Mrs. Pickles tells her husband, "Did you ever stop and think that in the middle of the word Life is the word If? That means that life is full of ifs. Life would be pretty dull without any ifs, don't you think?" He answers, "Not if there were still lots of ands or buts."
This really struck a chord with me. We spend so much of our time thinking about the ifs of life rather than the ands and buts. If only I had done so and so, BUT even though I didn't do that, this happened instead AND I saw God at work in my life. Many times what happened instead was every bit as good as what would have happened "if."
One of my blog buddies is fighting a battle with food. She had weight loss surgery some time ago and is having to keep her eye on the goal of eating right and losing weight every day of her life. Recently she must have fallen off the wagon a bit. Then she got sick and lost ten pounds. This illness jump-started her back on the path to her life goal. She wrote: "It is up to me to rely on God by asking him to keep my emotional eating and my emotional warfare (guilt, rationalizing, giving in, etc) in tact. Only he can do it! Control by my own means is only an illusion. I lose every time."
Such wisdom. When we think we have control of anything in our lives, we lose every time. All right, I know I can control my diet if I try. I can control my tongue if I try. I can control a few things, but it's all an illusion. When I put myself in the driver's seat to make me into the kind of person I want to be, I will fail. God has to have the controls and I have to lean on him.
Another blogger friend wrote about her son who submitted an application to the counselor to become one of the peer mediators this year at his school. She writes: "The application was pretty long and required a recommendation from 2 teachers at the school. He's required to attend an all day mediation class sometime in the next couple of weeks. It might be wishful thinking but I'm hoping he can apply some of those precious peace making skills at home with his sister."
Does this sound like us, too? I know a lot of answers on how to behave and think and feel, and if you ask me, I will share them with you. But when it comes to making them work in my own life. . . Do they?
A bumper sticker on the back of a Prius yesterday read "Fearful people do stupid things." I think this was a peacenik person, but the words rang true for me. I have blogged about my fears before, which are still many although God has been working with me on them for years. I fear and then I do something stupid. Then I fear even more and do something even more stupid. Where is the leaning on Jesus in this? Where is the letting God be in control? I fear BUT God is with me. I fear AND God brings me through.
If you have one of these problems like I do, I pray we can give up the ifs and rest on the ands and buts more. Jesus take the wheel!