For a variety of reasons, I’m in a period of quietness and waiting right now. It’s an unusual place for me. The planner inside wants to analyze and figure out how events may play out. But, I’m finally learning that God’s plans are high above my plans. Any stories or ideas I generate in this waiting are quite unlikely to be accurate. Indulging those thoughts is an exercise in pretending to control what is completely out of my control.
So, I’m using all of my mindfulness skills to stay present in the moment and connect with the people around me. Beginning each day, I’m asking for strength to remain engaged and aware of how I can contribute during this slower, quieter season of life. Jesus words: “Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble” (Matthew 6:34) have never rung more true.
When my thoughts start pulling me toward the unknown future, my prayer over the past couple weeks has consistently been: Thy will be done, Lord. It’s been a mantra of sorts: Thy will be done. Thy will be done. Thy will be done.
As I wrote those words in my journal the other night, I remembered a reference to this prayer in one of the Mitford books (I believe it was Book #4: Out to Canaan). Father Tim and his wife Cynthia would often cite “the prayer that never fails” which stumped me at first. Finally, through the context of the story, it became clear that Thy will be done is the prayer that never fails.
It’s so true, right?!
God’s will always comes to fruition. All of our plotting and planning and trying to figure things out often run in opposition to God’s will. This conflict between what we want to happen and what God wills is the source of much of our angst. Whether we think of it as surrendering or acceptance or resting in God’s grace, it all amounts to the same posture towards the triune God and our life. He is in control and will reveal his plan in his own perfect timing.
I’ve sure I’ve quoted this sentence before, but it’s so fitting in this season. John Kleinig wrote: “We are not called to become more spiritual by disengaging from our earthly life, but simply to rely on Jesus as we do what is given for us to do, experience what is given for us to experience, and enjoy what is given for us to enjoy.” Grace Upon Grace, pg. 23.
The abundance of God’s grace and providence means that this life is full of experiences, activities, and delights for us to enjoy. We want to do it all and experience the fullness of his blessings! But, this side of heaven, this abundance is tempered with our human sinfulness, not to mention just the limits of time and energy. We can’t do it all or experience everything that we might wish to enjoy. True peace and joy come from relying on Christ and enjoying what he graciously gives us.
So, I wait and hope and pray. All the while knowing that the prayer that never fails is good and true.