Guest post by Rev. Scott Lees, Executive Pastor & Chief of Staff
Two weeks ago Kris and I wrote a schedule, typed it out on the computer and even color-coded it. We put it on the large window in our kitchen where we could consistently see it. By day three, Kris ripped the schedule down. Harrison kept saying, “We are not on schedule,” and each time we walked through the kitchen, the schedule kept yelling at us, “Shame, shame, shame!”
My guess is, at this point, all the Type A people have run out of home projects and realize micromanaging this season just isn’t going to work.
God is showing us all an important lesson. We have the illusion that we are in control. As we live in a season that seems like exile, we have to learn to trust God day-by-day and even moment-by-moment. That’s going to take time, hopefully not 40 years, but what God does in us will ultimately change us. Like the Israelites, we are God’s beloved children, and He loves us too much to leave us as slaves to the unhealthy patterns and gods of our culture. Most of us have heard of the Serenity Prayer. There is a section most quoted by my friends in the recovery movement, “God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change; courage to change the things I can; and wisdom to know the difference.”
However, I’ve found the second part of the prayer is just as powerful—maybe even more so for those like me who are trying to recover from the addiction of control. It says, “Living one day at a time; enjoying one moment at a time; accepting hardships as the pathway to peace; taking, as He did, this sinful world as it is, not as I would have it; trusting that He will make all things right if I surrender to His Will; that I may be reasonably happy in this life and supremely happy with Him forever in the next.”
This unprecedented season in exile is a chance for us to discover a new way to live—one where God leads us along a pathway of peace in the middle of the unknown and leads us to a place of everlasting life. Maybe one way we can surrender control and put the Serenity Prayer into practice is to live consistently with these two questions:
“God, What are you saying?”
“God, What do you want me to do?”
I believe as we learn to do so, we will not only find peace in the moment but also resurrection and new life this Easter.