(I know, these things are small potatoes, but they are small potatoes that agitate me!)
*Our house is in disarray because we are painting and rearranging rooms and it is taking FOREVER for us to do the work ourselves. Meanwhile, we limp along as if we had just moved into our house.
*My daughter is competing in a national dance competition next week and we are feeling the strain of preparing and anticipating. Although there will be fun things to do, it is, after all, a COMPETITION, at which all of her hard work and our investment (money and time) will be JUDGED, and neither she nor I are as laid-back as we appear!
*My husband is working a lot to pay for our daughter's dancing. He is tired and a bit worn out.
*Oh, and then there's the general house maintenance that we often do not have time or energy to do that confronts us whenever we are at home!
*It has become all too apparent that racism is alive and well in our country and that people's lives are at stake every day because of it.
*It has become all too apparent that other types of prejudices are alive and well in our country. While on vacation last week, my sister's friend was the victim of veiled threats to his physical well-being due to the fact that he is gay. The way he was treated was a reminder to me that minorities are at risk in so many ways, and that the majority has no real understanding of this most of the time.
*Russia: need I say more?
*I'm sure there are more things that I am not thinking of at the moment. Just listen to the radio or read the news and you will find plenty of reasons!
Yes, I have been in a kerfuffle. BUT, this morning, while I was out walking, I started to pray. I prayed for people, my dog (injured leg not healing), situations, places -- many things. Then I began to sing, in my head, the hymn, "It Is Well With My Soul," the first stanza of which states, "When peace, like a river, attendeth my way/When sorrows like sea billows roll/Whatever my lot, Thou hast taught me to say/It is well, it is well with my soul." TO HEAR THE HYMN AND LEARN THE MOVING STORY BEHIND IT, CLICK HERE.
SO MANY reasons to be agitated -- and, yet, my faith tells me to be assured that it is well with my soul. This, I think, is the peace that passes understanding that only God can give: The peace that is present even in the midst of troubles. It is the peace that is one of the fruits of the Spirit. It is present to us ANY TIME and ALL THE TIME. WE JUST HAVE TO CHOOSE IT!
So, today, this morning, I am choosing PEACE, because God has already chosen me and I have chosen God, and I TRUST God -- I trust that God can work in and through and with anyone and anything -- and I TRUST that those who love God will work to actively love the world and its people despite the sin and evil with which we are confronted -- and, truth be told, in which we are complicit by merely being alive -- every day. And I trust these things because the GOSPEL tells me that LOVE WINS -- and I believe it! Do you?