One of my least favorite things to do is to complete a task and find out later that I left it unfinished, or that I didn’t complete the task in the manner in which I was asked to and then I have to go back and re-do the same task again. In short, I detest re-doing something that I have already “put to bed” as it were and I am fairly confident that I am not alone in these feelings. How do we avoid these issues? I try to immerse myself in the “rules and regulations” of whatever job I am trying to perform and then I try to throw myself into the task with every ounce of intelligence, passion and energy that I possess. I realize that I am imperfect and I try to learn from my mistakes; then I must remember this. . . that I am not in control.
The truth is that there is very little that we can truly control. It is a struggle that we face daily. The only control that we actually have is over our own response to our feelings and emotions. When we realize that we have wrested control back from God, we can release it and the “Serenity Prayer” can help.
2 Timothy 2:15 – “Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who has no need to be ashamed, rightly handling the word of truth.” (In this I can place my trust that if I am honest and try hard, all will be ok.)
Joshua 1:9 – “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” (In this I can place my trust that if I give my all, it will be enough and that God will walk with me in my work.)
Titus 2:7 – “Show yourself in all respects to be a model of good works, and in your teaching show integrity, dignity.” (This is my hope – to treat others as I want to be treated.)
Colossians 3:23-24 — Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Jesus Christ. (In this I can place my faith – that God rewards us here as well as in Heaven for our diligence and dedication to being the best that I can be.)
Matthew 22:34-40 34 Hearing that Jesus had silenced the Sadducees, the Pharisees got together. 35 One of them, an expert in the law, tested him with this question: 36 “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?” 37 Jesus replied: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ 38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 And the second is like it: Love your neighbor as yourself.’ 40 All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”
The Serenity Prayer: (Long Version, by Reinhold Neibuhr in the early 1930’s) “God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the Courage to change the things that I can, and the wisdom to know the difference. Living one day at a time, enjoying one moment at a time, accepting hardship as the pathway to peace. Taking, as He did, this sinful world as it is, not as I would have it. Trusting that He will make all things right if I surrender to His will. That I may be reasonably happy in this life, and supremely happy with Him forever in the next. Amen.”
The precursor: (Written by Epicitus in the First Century) “Make the best use of what is in your power, and take the rest as it happens. Some things are up to us and some things are not up to us. Our opinions are up to us, and our impulses, desires, aversions—in short, whatever is our own doing. Our bodies are not up to us, nor are our possessions, our reputations, or our public offices, or, that is, whatever is not our own doing.”
We are J-Bar — we are blessed beyond measure. We love — we are thankful beyond measure. We serve, and in so doing become the leaders that God wants us to be.