The other day on my run, I realized what BS it is for me to get up in the morning and ask God for: peace, love, joy, gratitude, companionship, etc. I know we are told we can ask and it will be granted, and that if we “Seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be given unto you” (Remember that song? Matthew 6:33, NIV). But really now. Really?! ALL of these things? I believe God has my best interests in his heart, and will bring me opportunities to have all that I desire, but I need to get off my tush and do some legwork towards them (which might be what “seeking his righteousness” means?).
I need (and want) to stop sitting around, waiting for God to give me faith, love, joy, gratitude, and a new leather couch. I think we need to stand up and Be It. Be the love, Be the passion, Be the gratitude, Be the success I want for me and for my family. Ask for His help, yes. But ask him to grant it? No. Be it, with a capital, Holy B.
That was kinda pithy for my morning run. I was feeling a little proud of that break-through mind set, puffed up, thinking of the photo I would add to my blog about it for you. We can be the joy to our coworkers and bounce around all smiley and happy (insert sunrise photo). We can be gratitude and write a gratitude list (insert fancy pen photo). We can be the success and work hard at our jobs with accomplishment (insert photo of happy boss shaking your hand and handing you money). It felt so empowering! The sun rose that morning with extra gusto.
But there was more… The very next day, I had an agonizingly difficult morning with my son, disagreeing over my stalker-ish ways (according to him I am a creepy stalker on his life because I read and monitor his facebook, texts, emails, and music. I also do weird things like insist he wear socks and use table napkins along with clean his room every few weeks). So we had slamming doors, yelling REALLY loudly in close range, eyeballs rolling like billiards (which sends me through the roof), “I hate yous”, and you know the rest. It bummed me out. And sadly, I was also doing not a little yelling, slamming, staring, etc. myself. He was being really rude, disrespectful, and treating me like an ATM/maid combo. I took away his phone, CD player, IPod, and if I had a wrench, and could have figgured it out, I would have grabbed his showerhead nozzle too.
I felt awful at the office, even a couple of hours later. I tried to work but felt really resentful. I ate all the chocolate I could find. I talked to a friend and still felt angry at his expectations of me. I tried to reason through his actions but couldn’t find any clarity. Finally, it occurred to me to pray (finally!). “God, please grant me serenity. Guide me to be the best mom possible today”. Good prayer, right?
I almost fell out of my chair, the answer was so fast and so clear to me: “Be the serenity”. My response was shock and denial “No way God. That is impossible. He was so out of line, I could not be serene and calm with that tornado-gorilla. Did you hear what he was yelling at me?!? That is asking a lot! A lot more than I can do!” Again, “Be the Serenity”. What the Hell do I do with that?! I realized I actually would much rather ask God for what I want and have it granted, I-Dream-of-Jeannie-style. No matter how much I argued, I still heard, felt, and knew, I have to Be the Serenity in my family. I don’t get to ask for it, and wait for it to arrive, raining down on me with drops of peace. I gotta Be the Love, Peace, Serenity, Faith, all of it. The whole burrito.
The wave that hit me, btw, was not as much a cosmic lightning bolt as it was a knock upside the head: obviously I have to be the leader of the serenity in my life and my family, and yet I was stubbornly not willing to do it.
Hmmm, mild panic… I had to Be the Serenity. I have to. We have to. We cannot join the insanity of teenage brains. Or any other insanity (parents, in-laws, siblings, spouses, they all have crazy ways. Tough doo-doo, we have to step up). I felt a deep uggggggggggh in my heart.
So (finally) I asked ”How God, do I Be the Serenity?” When you ask God, you will get your own answers, your own ways to Be calm in the midst of the storm. We can no longer just ask God to grant it to us, we have to ask “How can I Be the serenity?”
For me, I need to ask my kids questions. That is how I can add serenity to my situation. “How many texts do you think you need to send a month? How many hours do you think you need with your friends this weekend? When do you plan to do your laundry and clean your room? What grades do you think are good enough?” I tried that the next morning, and he was a new boy, helping out when I exploded syrup all over the kitchen, volunteering to find a ride to the movie, and hugging me. I was a new mom, being the serenity in our family. And hopefully, showing my kids how to Be the serenity.
It is not going to be easy, Being the sanity, the companionship, the love, the faith (yikes!) I want in my life. But I think it is what we are called to do anyway.