Perhaps we are not always pleased with our life circumstances, particularly when our caretaking chores become overwhelming and disagreeable. I find the model of Jesus’ words in John’s gospel an inspiration for the days when my resentments can outweigh a loving response. Receiving God’s word into my spirit helps to restore my goodness. It is my choice and call to lay down my own life in service to others and there are days, I struggle to do so.
When becoming overburdened, this is the reminder to take time and a place to decompress, to receive and be replenished, to be still and know. Sometimes, it can be by listening to music which will hopefully lift weariness. Taking time to meditate (even if it is only briefly when able to go to the bathroom, for a few minutes of quiet.) Whatever renews is necessary. If we are not generous to ourselves, we will have little left for anyone.
When self-sacrifice is voluntary, God’s love shines forth. Of course, realistically, few can manifest this each moment of the day. We pray for the strength, courage and wisdom to be able to gain a greater capacity for expressing love, knowing we are all a work in progress. Mother Teresa says, “If we have no peace, it is because we have forgotten that we belong to each other.” Sadly, in my experience, if I give into fear, not peace, I can act from cynicism and resentment. Situations outside of my control make me anxious, but gratefully I count on the grace and peace God offers even in the most difficult of circumstances. Faith reminds me that peace and comfort are qualities of the Spirit, not dependent on conditions or circumstances.
When troublesome thoughts come to mind, take a deep breath instead and try to focus attention on a Higher Power. Picture this Higher Power standing in front of you with arms open wide; gaze at and share what is making you uneasy. Ask for help to find peace in this Higher Power’s promises and presence with you. Then, listen. Perhaps you will hear a single word, like ‘trust,’ ‘forgive,’ ‘hope.’ If what you sense makes you feel more peaceful, follow this.
We are given inspiration in the following words of Carol Burnett, “You have to have faith that there is a reason you go through certain things. I can’t say I am glad to go through pain, but in a way one must, to gain courage and really feel joy.” We know not the whys of our life. We are called to keep receiving from the Lord and recognize where we are putting our focus. “Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give it to you. Do not let your hearts be troubled or afraid.” John 14:27. What path will you choose today?