“If only I knew what was going to happen next…”
“It’s hard to plan when I don’t know what work or life is going to look like…”
“The disagreements on what’s the right thing to do are making my head spin…”
I bet you’ve heard some of these comments lately, as we all try and figure out what we believe is best for our families and communities. Even without a global pandemic taking away so much of what we know and love, it’s easy to struggle when we’ve lost control of things that matter to us.
I’m learning …
Here are three things we can do. Important actions that will make us healthier. Happier. And easier to be around. We can Breathe. Love. Do.
I spoke about the first two – Breathe and Love – on a 4-minute Facebook Live earlier this week (@GayeLindforsAuthor). Pause and take a breath. And in every word and action, show up with love. Those are two things we can control.
And then … Do.
Remember the Bible story about Jesus feeding the 5,000? (Actually, it was 5,000 men PLUS women and children. A whole lot of people.)
The disciples were fretting and wringing their hands because they didn’t have food for the large group of people that had gathered. Philip complained, “Eight months’ wages would not buy enough bread for each one to have a bite!”
But another disciple, Andrew, started thinking outside the box, bringing a boy with five small barley loaves and two small fish into the conversation. Still wondering how far that would go.
And then …
Jesus made it work. Everyone ate and they gathered twelve baskets of leftover bread pieces. Wow.
Of course, the miracle was amazing, right?
But this is what caught my attention again this week …
The little boy’s mama.
She got up early that morning and packed her son a lunch. She had no idea that it would be used to feed 5,000+ people.
That mama just did what she could do—what came naturally. The action wasn’t glamorous. But she was faithful. She did what was right in front of her.
When we find ourselves struggling with what we can’t control. When the voices arguing about what is right and who was wrong get so loud and overwhelming that it makes us anxious and frustrated. When we aren’t sure what’s going to happen next…
We can Breathe. Love. And Do.
Let’s do the things we can do. Focus on the things we can control. Our actions and our words make a difference, starting in our homes.
Let’s pack the lunch.
In her book, Box of Butterflies: Discovering the Unexpected Blessings All Around Us, Roma Downey shares this beautiful and encouraging lesson from Mother Teresa:
“Do you think that love, in order to be genuine, has to be extraordinary.
What we need is to love without getting tired.
How does a lamp burn? Through the continuous input of small drops of oil.
If the drops of oil run out, the light of the lamp will cease, and the bridegroom will say,
‘I do not know you.’ (Matthew 25:12).
My daughters, what are these drops of oil in our lamps?
They are the small things of daily life: faithfulness, punctuality, small words of kindness,
a thought for others, our way of being silent, of looking, of speaking, and of acting.
These are the true drops of love …
Be faithful in small things, because it is in them that your strength lies.”