Listen: Chris Witts presents Morning Devotions.
A time comes in your life when you finally get it. In the midst of all your fears, you stop dead in your tracks and somewhere the voice inside you says ‘enough’. Enough fighting and crying and blaming and struggling to hold on. Then like a child quietening down after a tantrum, you blink back your tears and begin to look at the world through new eyes.
This is your awakening. You realise it’s time to stop hoping and waiting for something to change, or for happiness, or for safety and security to magically appear over the next horizon.
You realise that in the ‘real world’ there are not always fairytale endings, and that any guarantee of ‘happily ever after’ must begin with you—and in the process, a sense of serenity is born of acceptance. You awaken to the fact that you are not perfect and that not everyone will always love, appreciate or approve of who you are or what you do—and that’s OK. They are entitled to their own views and opinions, just like you are.
You learn the importance of loving and championing yourself—and in the process, a sense of new-found confidence is born of self-approval. You stop complaining and blaming others for the things they did to you, or didn’t do to you, and you learn that the only thing you can really count on is the unexpected.
You learn that people don’t always say what they mean or mean what they say, and that not everyone will always be there for you and that everything isn’t always about you. So you learn to stand on your own and take care of yourself—and in the process, a sense of safety and security is born of self-reliance.
You stop judging and pointing fingers, and begin to accept people as they are.
You stop judging and pointing fingers, and begin to accept people as they are, to overlook their shortcomings and human frailties—and in the process a sense of peace and contentment is born of forgiveness. You learn to open up to new worlds of different points of view. You begin reassessing and redefining who you are and what you really stand for.
You learn the difference between wanting and needing, and you begin to discard the doctrines and values you’ve outgrown or should never have bought into to begin with. You learn that principles such as honesty and integrity are not the outdated ideals of a bygone era, but the mortar that holds together the foundation upon which you must build your life.
You learn that you don’t know everything; it’s not your job to save the world or do everything in one day. You learn that the only cross to bear is the one you choose to carry. You stop trying to control people, situations and outcomes. You learn to distinguish between guilt and responsibility, and the importance of setting boundaries and learning to say ‘no’.
You stop trying to control people, situations and outcomes.
You also stop working so hard at putting your feelings aside, smoothing things over and not dealing with your feelings. You learn that the body is God’s temple—God made us. You begin to care for it and treat it with respect. You begin to eat a balanced diet, drink more water and take some time to exercise. You learn that being tired fuels doubt, fear and uncertainty and so you take some time to rest. And, just as food fuels your body, laughter fuels your soul. So you take time to laugh and to play.
You learn that, for the most part, you get in life what you believe you deserve, and that much of life truly is what you make of it and is a self-fulfilling prophecy. You learn that anything worth achieving is worth working for and that wishing for something to happen is different to working toward making it happen.
You learn the only thing you must truly fear is fear itself. You learn to step right into and through your fears because you know that whatever happens you can handle it. To give into fear is to give away the right to live life fully on your own terms.
You learn to admit when you are wrong, fix your mistakes when you make them, and build bridges instead of walls.
You learn that life isn’t always fair, dreams don’t always come true, you don’t always get what you think you deserve and that sometimes bad things happen to unsuspecting, good people. You learn not to always take it personally. You learn that nobody’s punishing you and everything isn’t always about somebody else’s fault. It’s just life happening—you learn to admit when you are wrong, fix your mistakes when you make them, and build bridges instead of walls.
You learn that negative emotions such as anger, envy and resentment must be understood or they can get out of control. You learn to be thankful, and to thank God for situations that come—all things that come, understanding that God is in control.
Lord, teach us to be wise. I pray that we can learn something more about ourselves and of you. We don’t want to become fools Lord—we want to be wise in the knowledge of you and ourselves. Teach us your truth so that we won’t be foolish enough to give glory to objects that our own hands have made. Because Lord in all these things the glory belongs to you. You are an amazing God. Amen.
Encounter, Nov/Dec 2002
By David Wallace