Relax

“Updating failed. An unknown error occurred.”

I kept getting that message as I was starting this post. Which was ironic because the word Nancy gave me for writing about was “Relax”. There was a fundamental gap between the post I was trying to write and the message I was getting when I tried to save what I was writing.

I’m guessing that lots of us are experiencing that gap. We know we are supposed to relax, to trust God, to rest, to have faith, to make our requests known to God with prayer and petition and in response to find that the peace of God guards our heads and our hearts.

We know that.

But every time we say “relax” to ourselves, we get a message: “Updating failed. An unknown error occurred.” And the stress continues.

I know that for some of you, the answer is in the word “just”, as in “just trust” or “just have faith” or “just relax.”

I trust that word (“just”) less and less. What is simple for me may not be simple for you. (And in truth, it may not be simple for me, either).

That said, I’m not giving up making my requests known to God with prayer and petition. It’s the response Paul gives us as an alternative to being anxious.

“God, give them wisdom that goes beyond their training.”

“God, could you help me see a next step to take in loving my neighbor.”

“God, I feel like I’m trapped in this house with these kids.”

“God, I have no idea what’s next.”

All of those, each of those, is a way of making our requests known. Honest with ourselves and God. And maybe for you, as for me, sometimes being honest like that can help that tension in your neck start to relax.

And your head and your heart will be guarded.

+++

And if that still leaves you stuck, listen to a prayer from Thomas Merton. It starts, My Lord God, I have no idea where I am going. I do not see the road ahead of me. I cannot know for certain where it will end. Nor do I really know myself, and the fact that I think that I am following your will does not mean that I am actually doing so. . .

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