When I wrote the first post in this series on Wednesday, I had no idea my inner life would change so much in 48 hours. I try to do the right things, to be honest, kind, compassionate. How the people around me, or you, act is never a guarantee. It’s the lack of control I wrote about Wednesday. The problem is trying to control the uncontrollable, like people, places and things. It’s one of the reasons Prayer is necessary.
I read a blog post today from Kimanzi Constable, someone I deeply admire. It was an honest post about things he struggles with, though he’s incredibly successful. We all have turmoil in our lives at some point. A case of the “what ifs,” “shoulda, coulda, woulda’s,” perceived missed opportunities, or something you walked away from that turned out to be perfect for the person who stayed. It happens to me often when I’m running my own show, instead of letting God run it for me. Today is one of those days. Maybe I’m right where I need to be, having this conversation with you.
Wednesday’s post talked about taking a Pause when you are sad, depressed, out of control, afraid or angry. It takes practice, but most of the time I can Pause when I have any or all of the above-mentioned feelings. Take today, for example.
I was in the middle of my morning readings, normally followed by Prayer and meditation, when I received a text from my friend at the barn. My three horses got out of their paddock by knocking down a rotted fence post. Of course I had no idea it was rotten until today. This is the fourth time they’ve gotten out since we moved to Georgia a year ago. Thankfully they were found by a friend rather than military police, who found them the last three times.
I was immediately anxious, angry, scared and off balance. I hadn’t gotten to the Prayer part of my morning and forgot all about it as I ran upstairs to throw on my barn clothes. I didn’t think about it in the car as I drove to the barn, because I was too busy blaming people in my head. I didn’t Pray when I got to the barn. I was too busy chastising horses who had no idea what I was mad about, only that I was exuding bad energy. That in turn rattled the horses. Still, no Prayer.
One the way home, I had a one-sided conversation with God. It had nothing to do with praising Him or even asking for help. It was prolonged complaint. Why? I let my emotions rule my reality. I didn’t Pause. If I don’t Pause, I’m not in a state of connection with myself. To Pray, it helps to be mindful. You can’t be mindful when you are full of anger, hurt or fear. Mindfulness is simply the ability to recognize when your feelings are out of whack. Bringing yourself back into the moment requires you to connect with the present. You immediately do so when you Pause.
After I chewed out the horses, the fence, my kids and the Army for sending us to Fort Benning, home of the high maintenance barn facility, the same Army sending my husband to war in a few months, I still didn’t Pause. I had to make a complete ass of myself first, unloading things I shouldn’t have on people who didn’t appreciate it. Only then did I slow down.
I wasn’t prepared to deal with everything I had to today. I wasn’t prayerful this morning. I let the world hit me first. Finally, before I started writing this post, I Paused. I Prayed. And a miraculous thing happened! Prayer hit the reset button in my soul and my brain. It can do the same thing for you!
Prayer doesn’t carry all your problems away. It simply rearranges your insides so you can better cope with what is outside you. Prayer gives you the freedom to choose how you see the world. Prayer says, “Hey God, I’m not running the show. You are.” Prayer instantly releases us from our chains. We regain forward mobility. Where we go from there is what I’ll talk about in part three of this series. We will tie it all together on Monday.
Until then, my wish for you is faith. ~ R.
“Faith is the substance of what we hope for, the evidence of things we do not see.” Hebrews 11:1