I enjoy two on-line devotional gifts: one a daily scripture reflection and the other a daily prayer reflection, rooted in the Word, and always concluding with a task, an assignment for me to live out my faith. I am dependent on them for growing my devotion to Christ, and, frankly, during the last months, remaining focused and calm, less anxious than I might otherwise be.
One of the assignments from last Monday’s has moved me profoundly. I wrote it out (long-hand!) to literally put it in front of me.
Place my personal interests in the hands of Jesus and do the good that needs to be done.
You probably don’t need any more but here’s my reflection:
My anxieties come from my fixations on myself: how will things work out, what will happen to the ones I love, what about the Church, my ministry, what about me, what about . . . .you get the idea. I wonder if you’re not wondering some of those things yourself.
The first step to less anxiety is surrender: place/put my concerns (personal interests) into Jesus’ hands. That’s the only smart thing to do: my anxieties are too large and too complex for me to fix. The Serenity Prayer being delivered a new way.
The second step to less anxiety is then to act: do the good that needs doing. There is a world of hurt to address that I can act upon. Action takes away stress; lowers anxieties; breaks the self-defeating cycle of “what about.” So I do what I need to do now, mindful of all the questions about tomorrow, and public health, and elections, and denominational life, but not focusing on them because the good that needs to be done is right in front of me. So as I do it, I grow less anxious, I do solve issues, and I live into the created role that God, the Creator, blessed me to have.
If the current times make you anxious I invite you to try this simple exercise: place then do. It works.
“. . . and the God of peace will be with you.” [Philippians 4:9]
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