On Trying…

“For the righteous falls seven times and rises again, but the wicked stumble in times of calamity.” Proverbs 24:16

“Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one receives the prize? So run that you may obtain it.” 1 Corinthians 9:24

So, trying is an interesting word to me. Typically when you hear someone using it, they are describing something that is upsetting or annoying. But they could also be talking about how they are trying to accomplish something they are struggling with. Something they find difficult. They could be learning a new language or building something and run into a bit of a conundrum they need to figure out. Either way what we know is that when we are dealing with something we describe as trying, it is because we have run into some type of difficulty.

I think what we need to remember is that something that is difficult doesn’t have to be upsetting or annoying. It is just difficult in that moment. For me, when I have an issue I am not sure what I should do next, I “try” a couple things. The first is, I may talk it over with someone who has more experience to get their perspective. They can offer advice that might help me get through the difficulty. The other thing I do, is to just take a break from what I am working on. As I find something else to do, I am giving my mind space to digest all the information I have and process it…I mean, our brains are powerful computers. So, taking a break allows my mind to think things through and more often than not, while I am in the middle of something else, I have my break-through “AHA” moment. And I know what to do about my conundrum, problem, issue, or whatever you want to call it.

But then trying also means someone or something is just not easy. Dealing with something or someone who is difficult is hard. In fact, if you have any insights you would like to share, please do. I think we could all use help from one another when we are dealing with a trying person or issue. These are the things that bring stress and anxiety into our lives. And for each of us those are different as we all find different things “trying.” But we must deal with them in order to alleviate the stress and anxiety in our life. So, figuring them out is important to our overall mental health. And our mental health has taken quite a toll these past two years! We don’t need more to add into the mix. At least, I don’t. I would bet you don’t either.

So, what do we do? I find being close to God in those moments is helpful. I also know it is perfectly ok to say to someone who is getting ready to push your last button, that you need a break from the conversation and would they mind if you revisit this issue and then give them a day and time when you can be more relaxed, and prepared for what you need to say and how you need to handle whatever they are bringing up.

Here is what I know…I set the agenda for my life. I can be available at a moment’s notice but if the topic at hand is difficult and I have already had a difficult day, I can post-pone the conversation. Notice I didn’t say I can ignore the conversation. Ignoring difficulties will only let them grow into even bigger difficulties. But we can post-pone them if we are in the midst of other priorities. And I think that is the wisdom we need to cultivate. What are the priorities we have for each day and ask ourselves: If a major issue crops up, how will we handle them in the moment? Knowing those answers in advance will help us work through anything we encounter on any given day.

Finally, and most importantly, when we allow God to work through us, actually when we get out of the way and let God do the talking…amazing things happen. The difficulty we thought was insurmountable, melts away. The hard conversations we know we have to take on, work out. But letting God be in control, means we have to let go of our own agenda. We need to compromise as we find solutions we can all agree on.

I pray you find your own way to get out of God’s way so God’s way can make a way forward.

Peace,

Pastor Beth

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Filed under Emotions, Faith, Holidays, Life insights

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