I got the opportunity last weekend to deliver the Sunday sermon at my church in the absence of our Pastor. We say the Lord’s Prayer every week in preparation for Communion and a part of that prayer is are the lines “forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive the trespasses of others”. I opined in that sermon that one of the “others” that we need to forgive is ourselves. The inability to forgive others or ourselves is a one-way ticket to unhappiness and maybe even to depression.
Men seem to have two innate tendencies that are their undoing – the need to understand everything and the need to control everything. Unfortunately, the need to understand things is thwarted by our limited imaginations and the need to try to control everything was never more than a pipedream. We can’t even control ourselves, much less anything else.
So, what we are left with is frustration and consternation. We are not at peace because we cannot stop fighting a battle that we cannot win against an enemy that we cannot even see, much less explain. I saw a quote recently that I will paraphrase – If you are having regrets you are living in the past. If you have anxieties you are living in the future. If you are at peace you are living in the present.
No matter how hard you try, you cannot change the past or control the future. The only thing that you have any real power over is how you act and react in the present. You can be in turmoil, or you can be at peace. The choice should be a no-brainer, but it is very difficult for many.
I recently received a notification from WordPress.com where my blog is hosted that I had achieved one of their milestones – they informed me that I had posted my one thousandth blog post. As I looked back over the years of posts (I started posting to this blog in 2012) I noticed that I had posted many times about being at peace and how I have used the same little prayer for years to get to that peace – praying to God, “Not my will but thy will be done.”
The conclusion that I have come to is to forgive myself for any past failures, disappointments or sins (as God has forgiven me already) and put my trust in Him for my future. That leaves me peacefully happy in the present and I’m good with that. Try it, you might like it, too.
Be at peace!