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.
When did our society decide that every annoyance was to be addressed? Or every disagreement aired and discussed? I realize that I am a grandmother, and so older than many, but I remember my father looking at me and telling me, “Life isn’t fair. Get over it.” (And he was right. Life isn’t fair.) Or, “So? Your point?” (Lest you think he was uncaring, please note that those comments often came as we discussed the problem over ice cream from the local ice cream parlor.) At the time, it annoyed me to no end. Now I confess, “Daddy, I GET IT!” We are able to grow more, learn more, have more joy, and teach more effectively when we are able to “get over it.”
So many times in the recent past someone has asked for my help…for themselves, for a friend or loved one. Don’t get me wrong. If I can help, I am more than willing. The problem? The “help” these folks are seeking comes tightly wrapped up in drama! Layers and layers of it!
Come to my home, and we can discuss religion, academics, child care, organization, running a household, or any other number of topics and have a great time. I will teach you make bread, save money, or write your own curriculum…happily. But please check the whining at the door! I can’t change how your mother-in-law, neighbor, congregation member, or other obnoxious person responds to you or what they say. And neither can you. “Get over it.” Move on, and prove them wrong. It becomes much harder to argue with what someone is doing when everyone can see that the outcome was a good one!
Besides that, your children are learning to whine, complain, and become victims the more you model that behavior. If you desire them to be strong, motivated, and able to persevere, you must do the same. No one has a perfect life. Anywhere. Stop insisting that life is unfair because you have problems. (If you think there are people who don’t have them, you need to pay better attention to others around you!) I don’t remember Christ being a complainer. The Reformers and later Church leaders just got on with the job. We must do the same!
I’m not apathetic to the plight of others; I just have no power to change someone else’s life. If things need to change, make a different choice. Do something you haven’t tried. Or just stop thinking about all the negative. It is amazing how much a positive outlook helps, but drama is exhausting. It can literally make you ill. You miss the joy and beauty of life. And the Lord can’t guide you if you are focused on wallowing in the mire.
So if you want to know how to cook a meal from scratch, plan your literature study, or get a garden planted, let me know. The rest is for you and the Lord to unravel!
(This post is in no way meant to point the finger at those who truly suffer from clinical depression. But if you do, get professional help. That is also out of my league!)