Mar 26, 2014

The invitation


Driving with my emotions all awash.  Again.  The silence of the car gives me space to reflect as I drive back home for my forgotten phone.
Wishing that emotions didn't eat up a significant part of my life.  Or rather, the emotions of frustration and irritation wouldn't pop up as often as they do.  
Or perhaps that the emotions didn't control my responses as much as they do.  
Irritated with being irritated.
With kids who lost their shoes, a messy floor, a dead line to make, a class to teach and prep. 
 I'm feeling irrational and wishing for a way to shut off the valve knowing that the emotion doesn't have a rational basis in reality, but yet it still washes over me.

Wishing away an emotion or trying to think rationally doesn't work for me.  It exists.  It's strong.  
Sunday, a supposed day of rest, found me defeated again in this area.  I had five minutes to myself in the car before I would find myself hitting the ground running, working our children's program, and I didn't want it to begin this way.  I gripped the steering wheel and asked God why emotions were so able to control my joy.  

And then I was reminded.  I can do nothing about my emotions.  I can do nothing about inner peace.  Because it doesn't begin with me.
My will power alone will never turn on the "right" emotions.

Peace begins with an invitation.
It first begins with "Come".  Learn a new story.  God whispers to the soul that in His story, I am OK regardless of fears and irritations.  Shoes will be found, you'll still be a child of the King if you're late, classes will work themselves out, God is King is His kingdom with all the control.  I am not a failure when things get out of my control.  

It begins with "Be Still".  Ask for peace.  Ask for help.  Peace comes by asking.   The Holy Spirit indwells us.  So invite Him into the story of our lives each moment.

It ends with "Rest".  I gripped the steering wheel and remembered in that moment to tell myself a new story.  A story where God is in control and not me.  My emotions still not settled, I remembered to tell God all about my emotions.  What I was feeling and why I thought I was feeling them - I gave myself free-reign to spit it all out.  And I asked Him to do something about them.  They did not dissipate right that second.  I got out of the car, wondering if prayers "work" on emotions, or if somehow it was still my responsibility to somehow shut them down.  I decided to not try, but to rest and see what happened.  In the ten seconds it took to walk into the building, they were gone.  Completely gone.  And while I was busy outwardly the next four hours, my soul was at rest.

God says, "Come, tell yourself a new story about living as my child.  Be still, don't control it, tell me about it and ask for help.  Rest, because this is mine."

You have been invited.

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