I’ve been going through some pretty significant melancholy feelings lately… some ups, some downs… but consistently reflective on my current situation and the state of my heart in the midst of it. The other night, Kat tried to get me to talk about it. “Come and talk to me about it on the front porch. Share some watermelon with me…”
I don’t really talk about my melancholy feelings to her (or anyone, for that matter) too often, so she probably didn’t realize that I don’t really like to say much when I my focus is so internal in these times. I told her I didn’t really want to talk about it that much… but I went out there anyway.
The even was beautiful and after listening to the breeze for a while I said, “You know… I guess I just wish I had more control of things. Work, relationships, income…”
As on top of it as she is, she responded with, “Well, you know you can’t control things.”
And this is the root of my melancholy. I wish I was more in control, but my heart and mind tells me that I am not. The battle that ensues is a result of this tension of acceptance.
As I reflected on this… and listened, felt, and breathed into the breeze… I realized the silliness of my situation.
So I told Kat I also wished she would pay attention to the things I wanted her to pay attention to and not pay attention to the things I didn’t want her to. She asked what I would like her to pay attention to and so I told her. Then she asked what I don’t want her to pay attention to. “I can’t tell you that! Then you would pay attention to it.”
This put it all in a clear light for me. I realized how grateful I really am… for God and the provision, the surprises, the community, the joys of following my soul’s calling… even in the midst of no control.
So is gratitude the counter-balance to a need for control? I wonder…
And now I have a word for you who brashly announce, “Today—at the latest, tomorrow—we’re off to such and such a city for the year. We’re going to start a business and make a lot of money.” You don’t know the first thing about tomorrow. You’re nothing but a wisp of fog, catching a brief bit of sun before disappearing. Instead, make it a habit to say, “If the Master wills it and we’re still alive, we’ll do this or that.”