You will flow
“As your faith is strengthened you will find that there is no longer the need to have a sense of control, that things will flow as they will, and that you will flow with them, to your great delight and benefit.” — author unknown; attributed to Emmanuel Tanay
Among the most ultimately comforting but persistently difficult teachings of Jesus are his words in Matthew 6:25-34, where he warns us against worry, saying “take no thought for tomorrow.” Really? When I read these words I find myself saying “Yes, but…”
“Yes, but that doesn’t mean to be irresponsible.” (No, it doesn’t, but there is a difference between being responsible and feeling a compulsive need to control everything as much as possible.) “Yes, but he wasn’t speaking literally.” (He wasn’t? Did he really mean “You should only worry a little bit” or “You should only worry about REALLY IMPORTANT THINGS?”) “Yes, but things were very different in those days.” (And I’m guessing there was even more to worry about then…food, clothing, survival, all the things mentioned in the full context of what Jesus said.)
It really is possible to live a sane, wise and responsible life without excessive worry about the future, but our culture does not promote that kind of mental framework. Advertisers seek to sell us everything from clothes to cars to insurance by playing to our worst fears and insecurities. The news media bombard us continually with stories designed primarily to catch and keep our attention by making us afraid of what we might miss. Financial advisers have created an advice industry geared toward teaching us to find security in money. Health care providers coach us to stay current on diagnostic screening. On and on it goes.
I am working on learning to do what I can, and then let go of the outcome. It’s a difficult process, but unfortunately (or fortunately?) life has a way of prying our fingers loose from anything we hold too tightly. When I get most agitated and tense, it really does help to take a few deep breaths and imagine something peaceful, such as a gently flowing brook, or the graceful gliding of a swan in the water. There are times when it becomes all too obvious that we have no choice but to “go with the flow” of life, one day at a time. I hope your day will flow peacefully today!