A stumbling block on my road to being the Christian that God wants me to be is involving myself in messes that don’t belong to me. I just love to fix things, to make people happy, to bring solace, to counsel, to explain, to make right… and when I see things out of order, unhappy people, people who think ill of me or my ChristFamily, I get all kerfuffled.
Focusing on God increases my faith, focusing on this world encourages despair.
God doesn’t want me to stop counseling, to stop bringing solace, to stop speaking for Him – but it is so easy to forget that I do so in His power, and not my own.
Luke 12:11 And when they bring you unto the synagogues, and unto magistrates, and powers, take ye no thought how or what thing ye shall answer, or what ye shall say: 12 For the Holy Ghost shall teach you in the same hour what ye ought to say.
In the same vein, it is God who makes the appointments for me to use the gifts He’s given me, it is He who directs whatever part of His body I happen to be. My job is to be available to His will, and to do the things that are set before me.
And I have noticed that a good and solid way to set myself up to stumble spectacularly is to dwell on ugliness. This world is so ugly. And *I can’t fix it*.
I can bring solace to my husband or a friend or a neighbor. I can teach my mentee, and counsel a sister in Christ. But I can’t unravel the horrors this world has to offer. That’s why I stay off blogs where there’s a lot of bitterness and anger. I can’t fix it! I can’t do a single thing to make things better, and it distresses me. And that distress, in turn, makes me less effective – because it takes my focus off of God, smashes my joy, and encourages me to think about how I *would* fix it, if I could, which I can’t.
My distress encourages me to rely on my own strength, at least in my mind. Because I am no longer minding the business that God gives me to mind, I receive no aid – and why should I? Imaginary paladining. -rolls eyes-
God is faithful to help me do the things He asks me to do. I clean the messes that He allows in *my* life, but I can’t do anything about messes in lives not even tangentially related to my own. God gave me a soft heart, and I’d fix those messes if I could… but I’m not God and I can’t.
So you’ll forgive me, if I avoid ugliness. I have my proper work to do, and spending time winding myself up doesn’t get that work done, doesn’t get anyone anywhere. In fact, I think it prevents me on focusing on one area of service where I could do more, which is in prayer. If there is ever anything I can do for any of the Family, let me know… I love to help. But if not, I’ll keep my eyes on my own paper, and keep trying to be a little light in a very dark world.