Unclench My Fists

Do you ever find yourself constantly assessing if your “lot” in life will be okay? If the future will lead to your satisfaction, celebration, and success? If anyone else will recognize that? I do this all the time without noticing. Part of it is necessary to plan for the future, but most of it leaves me discouraged and obsessed with what I can’t control (i.e. anyone’s opinion of me or how long I get to improve their opinion of me). It’s tiring being so concerned about what I want and envision. I can easily see the consequences in my life.

But I’ve also been contemplating lately how life isn’t necessarily better or worse when I get what I want or when I don’t. What seems good and right doesn’t always live up to expectation; some fears may not be such daunting opponents after all.

It’s so tempting to label things as good or bad when they haven’t happened yet–to live as if I must be right no matter what– because it’s easier and more immediately satisfying. But that mindset fails to realize the shortness of my grasp and the fallibility of my thinking. Basically, it’s pride. And pride is no trustworthy friend.

Humility, however, is hard. It’s uncomfortable.  To embody it seems impossible, and to only half embody it leads to discouragement, low self esteem, and a battle within. No one can serve two masters–how painful and human to try to serve both selfishness and selflessness.

Somehow the solution must be a total revolution of heart and mind. Somehow the question must not be whether outcomes are good or bad, but whether the out-flowing of my heart is life giving or… not. Or maybe there’s no question. Maybe God will just triumph over it all, and there’s no need to ruminate on it. Whatever the case, to get caught up in the “lot” for my life neither improves my future “lot” nor comforts me in the present.

Oh, Lord, how difficult. My whole paradigm is off. My own thoughts betray me. I don’t want this self-obsession, this bitterness, this anxiety. I don’t want to be so focused on living a good life that I grow angry at my good God.

You, King of Kings, do not have to strive to accomplish Your plans for my existence, and neither do I. Unclench my fists and relax my jaw. I know You want better for me than this. I know You want good for me. I know You are good. Though I try so hard to sort and understand and barter, You have already attained all knowledge and reward, and I will receive mine from You in abundance. All praise to You. In Jesus’s name, amen.

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