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Catch and Release Picture


Some time ago, I had surgery to correct an eye condition called “macular hole.” The other day, I got myself worked up into a lather about it, wishing I’d never had it done. Sure, there had been a big black hole in my vision, but it was in the upper left part, so I could see under it. It was distracting, and I wanted it gone, but there’s no way I would have had the surgery if I thought it would take away my ability to see the world at all with that eye.

For years, I accepted the surgeon’s explanation that my eye just didn’t heal properly. So the onus, in a way, was on me. Not the doctor’s fault. Just bad luck, is all!

But on this day, I re-hashed this bad experience in my mind and couldn’t stop the re-wind button. Then I thought of some words… something I remembered vaguely, in the back of my brain. Some poet had written it…

“Nothing happens but that which God allows….”

Oh! It was me. I wrote that poem a few years ago. I had to look it up on my own blog to get the words right. And then I read it and thought, is this true? Why don’t I feel it in this case? Why do I get so worked up about this and why I can’t get any peace around it?

Nothing happens to you but that which God allows. And if God allows it, there must be a reason for it. And if there’s a reason for it, it must mean you’ll learn something from it.

PS God does send you more than you can bear. That’s how you learn to bear more.

There are some things that just have to live in the limbo of your psyche. That place you label “unresolved.” Things that don’t end with “and they all lived happily ever after.” More like, “happily never after.”

When you let yourself dwell on it for too long, you really steal from yourself. You snatch away time that might be filled with joy. With moments of repose. With sitting, knitting, next to a kitten. With blessings and beignets. With tea and scones with a true-blue friend. With peace and prayer, stillness and serenity.

You might find yourself thinking, this has really got hold of me. But actually… you’ve got hold of it. You’re gripping it, griping about it, letting it seep into your soul.

The answer – even though nobody likes to hear it – is: there is no answer. I know it’s not the spiritually satisfying solution you want to hear. But no matter how much it irks you, works you, sticks you or pricks you…. The only way to live in the present tense is to catch and release. As hard as it is to do, it’s a critical key to being finally free.

Just like the song says. Let it go.

Psalm 111Did you know that Psalm 111 is an acrostic prayer?  On yesterday’s post over at Alive Now, Beth Richardson explained that each line of this psalm begins with a successive letter of the Hebrew alphabet. She also challenged readers to write their own acrostic poem. My own take on this is that you can do it one of two ways:

  1. As a Psalm-styled acrostic, each line beginning with a successive letter of our alphabet.
  2. As a poetic acrostic in which the beginning letters of each line spell out a word.

My tendency is to go with the second type but then what word? You could use PSALM or FAITH. For my own, I went with PRAYERS. Pausing I turn my gaze to You, Oh Lord. Recalling the many gifts You have given me – family, friends, a home and work Are only a few of the many blessings. Yet you also challenge me, Expecting me to speak up and speak out Respectfully representing You in this world. So You with it, so may I do. I’m thinking that this style of acrostic prayer will be a useful tool on days like today when I lack focus and am unsure what to pray.  I can start with a word such as PRAYER, PRAISE, or THANKS.  And on those days that I know what I should be praying about yet cannot find the will to start, I can challenge myself with words like FORGIVENESS or GRACE. What about you?  Care to give it a try? –SueBE

Have a Mary Little Christmas

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