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Nella Coiro

The Fire of God’s Wisdom

“At each and every sunrise you will hear my voice as I offer my prayer to you. Every morning I lay out the pieces of my life on the altar and wait for your fire to fall upon my heart.”  (Psalm 5:3 The Passion Translation)

This beautiful psalm captured my attention because it spoke to my actions every morning when I wake up. I talk to God about whatever might be troubling me  – “the pieces of my life.”  Then I say this prayer: “Dear God, please help me to remember that nothing can happen to me today that you and I can’t handle together.“ If it’s a particularly difficult day, I need to repeat this prayer throughout the day, to remind myself that I’m not alone, and God is walking with me on my life journey.

Sometimes situations approach us at 100 miles an hour, and with no forewarning. When we’re blindsided by events that are  unexpected, we become fearful.  Since this describes my week, I was reminded of a quote that I heard decades ago: People make plans, and God laughs. We can try to plan ahead, but it helps to remember that life is filled with uncertainty and surprises, curve balls and unexpected obstacles. There are times when our future plans can disintegrate before our eyes, and so it’s wise have a backup plan.

Acceptance

Once we can fully accept our powerlessness over external circumstances, life gets a lot easier. If you’re like me, you are familiar with the acceptance dance of moving forward toward acceptance, then taking a few steps backwards, and grabbing the steering wheel once again. It’s difficult to let go of our need to control situations, and it’s usually fear-based. Yet, we have all done this at one time or another, even when we realize that we don’t have the power to alter circumstances. 

Author M. Scott Peck asserted that “Life is difficult. This is a great truth, on… It is a great truth because once we truly see this truth, we transcend it. Once we truly know that life is difficult - once we truly understand and accept it - then life is no longer difficult. Because once it is accepted, the fact that life is difficult no longer matters.”

The Power of the Now

If we use mindfulness skills and try to stay in the present moment, it is easier to manage these unplanned hurdles. When I am presented with upsetting news, my gut reaction is to obsess about catastrophic outcomes. Through much personal growth work, I have learned that I can’t stay in this negative mindset for too long. After spending some time with negative projections, I move forward and explore Plan B and other options.

The Fire of God’s Wisdom

Besides acceptance and mindfulness, clarity of mind and taking action will help us to deal with our unexpected challenges. This brings us to the second part of this psalm, where we wait for God’s fire to fall upon hearts – wisdom, peacefulness, hope, and solutions. As this happens, the murky fog begins to dissipate and help us to move forward with strength and determination.

Acceptance is the first step that lights our path. As soon as we accept our circumstances, everything else will fall into place. Therefore, as 12-step recovery groups contend, “acceptance is the answer to all of our problems today.” 

 

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