Life is a rollercoaster of emotions. Whether that's a cliche or not, it is. There are times when I am overjoyed to be alive. I am not just happy, I am joyful and celebrating inside, its at times like that that I find it easiest to love my family, to love my friends, to love the people I don't like so much, and to love God. But sometimes, I really want to go down to the garden shed, grab a shovel, dig a hole in the middle of a very big field, curl up in it, and say "I am not coming out, even if you pay me".
Things go wrong, I struggle with life, with pain, with death. Its like a cloud comes in and my world suddenly seems very murky, very unclean. I worry about everything, I worry that I won't get my work done on time, I worry about going away with friends, I worry about not being able to sleep when I'm really tired. I worry about everythng. And the worry makes me struggle even more. It feels like a never ending cycle, where my life just gets cloudier and cloudier, murkier and murkier.
After worrying, I then feel guilty. I feel guilty because of the trivial things I worry about. I think about those people who worry about not having enough water to drink, those people who worry about not having any food to put on the non-existant table. Then I feel guilty, adding to the never ending cycle.
Where is all this struggling, worrying and guilt taking me? Nowhere, to be bluntly honest. It is literally a never ending cycle and, unless I start to make a conscious decision to say "No", that cycle is never going to end, and my life will be filled with constant struggle, worry and guilt.
What to do? Turn to God. In everything, I find the best thing to do is to turn to God and just say "I can't cope with this God, please help me." And as I move further into what God has for me, and trust in Him more, my problems, worries, fears, struggles, pains are taken away, and in their place is a peace. Not just any peace, but a peace like no other. Shalom.
The guilt turns to a desire to do something for those people who worry about not having enough water to drink, those people who worry about not having any food to put on the non-existant table. To do something that will make a difference. Yes, I am never going to single-handedly change the world, but that doesn't mean I should just sit here and do nothing, I am convinced that with every small step we make, we come closer to God's Kingdom come.
A Poem written 1000 years ago by an unknown monk:
"When I was a young man, I wanted to change the world.
I found it was difficult to change the world, so I tried to change my nation.
When I found I couldn’t change the nation, I began to focus on my town. I couldn’t change the town and as an older man, I tried to change my family.
Now, as an old man, I realize the only thing I can change is myself, and suddenly I realize that if long ago I had changed myself, I could have made an impact on my family. My family and I could have made an impact on our town. Their impact could have changed the nation and I could indeed have changed the world.”
Lets not fall into the trap of a continuous cycle of pain, struggles, worries and guilt, but lets step out of that and move into what God has planned for us, and lets make a difference. Lets 'Dance in the dirt' as Michael Crowne said, and be joyful and celebrate.
Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. Philippians 4:6