Do you ever find yourself wishing things could just be different? Okay, maybe that's a silly question. I think we've all been there at one time or another. Whether it's big things or little things, we often find ourselves wishing, hoping, and praying our circumstances would change. Sometimes they do, but sometimes they don't.
What do you do when things just don't go your way?
If I'm not careful, I will waste all my time dreaming about what life will be like when things do change, when I move on to the next stage of life, when I reach certain milestones. It's easy for me to spend all of my time in the present longing for the future.
But that's a waste of my time.
Dreams are great, but not if they rob me of my ability to enjoy my present. I have to walk the line between what is and what could be. I don't want to become complacent, but I don't want to spend all my time worrying about and planning for days that aren't here yet.
Things don't always go the way I want them to. I'm not always satisfied with the way things play out. I have to continually remind myself that I'm not in control (as much as I would often like to be).
It's in moments of dissatisfaction and disappointment that my beliefs and attitudes are exposed for not being what they ought to be, for having once again strayed from true north.
When things don't go the way I want, I have the opportunity to fight, wrestle, and try to coerce them to straighten out and go the way I desire (which inevitably doesn't work, but my stubborn self still tries far too often), or I can embrace the opportunity to right my thinking and let God be in control.
I know intellectually that He's in control, but I often try to steal that responsibility from Him. While it's not necessarily the gentlest or most pleasant method, I think not always getting my way is one of God's reminders that I'm not the boss here. I can dream and plan all I want, but at the end of the day, I'm not in control.
Now, at first glance, that sounds rather pessimistic and even cynical. But, underneath, it also has some beauty to it. I don't have to make everything work out. The responsibility to solve all of my problems and provide for all my needs doesn't rest upon my shoulders (unless I take it from God). And thank God for that! I don't want to be solely responsible for working everything out; that's too big of a role and responsibility for me.
Instead, if I let Him maintain that role, I am free to dream with Him and make my plans, to be flexible when things change, and to be grateful for both the things that do go my way and the things that don't, because His plans are always better than mine.
He is the one working all things together. He is the one weaving a beautiful, complex story that I get to be a part of. He sees the bigger picture, and He knows what He's doing. If He redirects me from one thing, it is only because something better lies ahead.
He is working to make me more like Him-- working to make me walk by faith, trusting that He has everything under control even when it feels like they're spinning out of control. If I will only walk with Him, not running in front of Him or trying to cling to what's behind, He will do some amazing things.
I am learning to be comfortable in the in-between. I am not yet who I want to be, but I'm better than I was yesterday, and that counts for something. The daily progress feels slow, but it's in the daily moments that growth is being wrought. If I refuse the daily stretching, I will never be able to look back and see the large strides, the leaps and bounds I've made over time that can only be seen at a greater distance that only time can provide.
Do you have any tips or tricks for dealing with things that don't go your way? I'd love to hear from you in the comments!