Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Icy Roads

Brrrrrrrrrrrrr!  Am I right?!  Seems like just the other day I was wearing shorts and working outside!  Wait…that was just a few days ago.  And now schools are closing early because the roads are icing over.  I guess that saying is true; if you don’t like the weather in Memphis, stick around.  Cause it’s going to change.  Probably pretty abruptly too.

So I have this friend, a mentor if you will.  I have known this person for some time now.  We do not talk all the time and there have been years where we have barely spoken more than a handful of times a year.  However, they always seem to be there to listen and to talk with me whenever something is going on.  One time we were talking about how sometimes it just seems that everything goes terribly wrong.  When it rains, it pours.  Not always one huge terrible thing but often times many many small things that make the small troubles feel big and the big troubles feel unbearable. 

The response I heard was not what I was expecting.  He said that when he looks back at the times that everything has gone wrong in his life, when things were just always going wrong; there was always one common denominator.  One thing that always seemed to connect all of his troubles through the years…him. 
He was always the one thing that connected all of his problems

Hmmm.  Well that is a very interesting way to look at it.  You could even call it depressing or self loathing.  However, once we talked more and I thought about it, it made more and more sense.
Think back to when something bad happened and you were having an already bad day?  That day probably sucked.

Now think of a time when something bad happened, but you thought, eh, it is what it is!

A lot of times we put so much pressure and stress on ourselves and beat ourselves up for no reason at all.  Today, especially.  A lot you are probably really happy because you got early for school!  YAY!  However, your parents probably are not too excited about having to drive on the icy roads.
In that one example, there are two reactions to the same problem.  Should we celebrate the fact the roads are icy?  No, that seems a little….weird.

Regardless, the roads are icy.  We cannot change that. 

Many times in our lives, we are faced with “icy roads”.  Obstacles in our way that slow us down or cause a detour, or trap us in a cabin in Arkansas, metaphorically speaking of course.

While in that moment, we feel angry and stuck and only want to fix the problem! But honestly, what can we do about it?  We can sit and we can gripe about it, but where is that going to get us.  It will probably just put us in a bad mood. 

Today, I leave you with two prayers.  Two prayers my mentor taught me a long time ago.  Two prayers that I hope you find as useful and calming as I have, especially when the roads are icy, and there is not a salt truck in sight.

The first prayer, a prayer I am sure most of you have heard the revised version.  But here, I wanted to share the full original prayer that is attributed to Reinhold Niebuhr:

God, give me grace to accept with serenity
the things that cannot be changed,
Courage to change the things
which should be changed,
and the Wisdom to distinguish
the one from the other.
Living one day at a time,
Enjoying one moment at a time,
Accepting hardship as a pathway to peace,
Taking, as Jesus did,
This sinful world as it is,
Not as I would have it,
Trusting that You will make all things right,
If I surrender to Your will,
So that I may be reasonably happy in this life,
And supremely happy with You forever in the next.

The second pray, very easy to remember. 

All shall be well and all shall be well.  And all manner of things shall be well.

Drive safe on all the icy roads you encounter. And remember, all will be well.

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