An unexpected “blessing” of  COVID-19 has been the involuntary time for self reflection. Reading through history, I have come to the inconvenient conclusion that two entities have always been present in our human lives: change and uncertainty. I can’t speak for you, but for myself I struggle fiercely with this…

Why?

I struggle because I like my safe routines;

I want control (ironic when I can barely control myself…),

I like predictability;

I prefer things my way;

I think I know what’s best (of course I do – lol);

Change is not comfortable – ouch;

Uncertainty? Are you kidding? That’s just admitting I have no control!

In the past two years, I have had the painful gift of having to say goodbye to FIVE friends – three of them very close to me. Some younger and some older. I use the term “gift” because the reality that loss is a part of life and that I have truly very little control over how much time I have on this earth is important to own. Crazy as it sounds, knowing one’s end IS a gift. Much better than realizing too late that we have run out of time.

So, what DO I have control over? Do I have any choices at all, or am I just a pawn in this game of life? Here’s what I CAN control…

I can choose my attitude,

I can seek help with my response,

I can make a choice to let go – of control, of my right to be right;

It only costs me my pride.

I can refuse to let negativity define my identity,

I can embrace the present,

Commit to thankfulness

For little things.

I can dig down deep

I can reject fear

I can choose seemingly crazy trust

In a God Who is Near.

In John Braille’s A Diary of Private Prayer, the following prayer he wrote resonates with my spirit. I share it with you in the hopes that it may resonate with yours too. May we each have a heart that has “great room” in it.

O Lord, you indwell our shabby human life, lifting it now and then above the dominance of animal passion and greed, allowing it to shine with borrowed lights of love and joy and peace, and making it a mirror of the beauties of the world unseen. Grant that my part in the world’s life today may not be to obscure the splendor of your presence but rather to make it more plainly visible to the eyes of my fellow men and women.

Help me to make a stand today –

for whatever is pure, true, just, and good;

for the advancement of science and education and true learning;

for the redemption of daily business from the blight of self-seeking;

for the rights of the weak and the oppressed;

for cooperation and mutual help in industry, commerce, and government;

for the conservation of the rich traditions of the past;

for the recognition of new movements of your Spirit in the minds and lives of people today;

for the hope of even more glorious days to come.

Today, dear Lord –

Help me put what is right before my own interest;

Help me to put others before myself;

Help me not to forget matters of the spirit, by being too consumed

    with matters of the body;

Help me put the attainment of what is true and just and honorable

    Above the enjoyment of present pleasures;

Help me put principle above reputation;

Help me put you above all else.

O God, the reflection of your transcendent glory once appeared unbroken in the face of Jesus Christ. Give me today a heart like His: a brave heart, a true heart, a heart with great room in it, a heart fixed on you; for His name’s sake. Amen.