One of the most destructive forces to our productivity that we know is an empty bank account. I’m theoretically opposed to the idea that No Funds = No Fun, but a lack of cash is really difficult for us to look past. It robs us of focus, creativity, motivation, and hope, even when we believe that it’s only a temporary problem. And even while we are having wonderful moments with our family, the penniless reality seeps back into our minds and taunts us: shouldn’t you be doing something productive to solve your little problem? Which leads to guilt. There’s always guilt. And fear; fear that utilities will be shut down, fear of not having enough food, fear of being judged for not having our act together, fear of it being a permanent thing, and then if fear settles in, its evil twin shows up: Irrational Fear, the harbinger of sleepless nights, anxiety and monsters lurking in the shadows outside our house.
I’m not looking for advice, or a handout. I’m just putting that reality out there because I believe that there are many of you that can relate. Also, I’m hoping it’s a reality check for anyone who might think that our life is all rainbows and unicorns. It’s not. Most of the time we choose to focus and share the fun and beautiful parts. Those moments shine even more brightly when there’s a degree of darkness in our lives as well; it may be struggle, work, chores, watching the news, getting informed about human trafficking, or more. I would love to have a carefree life, but I don’t believe for a second that it’s an attainable reality, even though I experience it in brief moments. No, that’s my hope of what the afterlife is with God. For now, the beautiful, the darkness, the struggle, the hope, etc, are a part of our everyday lives. It’s all a question of where the balance hangs, and our ability to hold on to hope. Without struggle there is no victory, I suppose. But in the struggle, the end isn’t always apparent or assured.
While we swim in the swirling dark gunk of struggle, we make a plan, do what we can, and wait for the pieces to fall into place; and we have prayer. This one popped into my head today:
“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.”
– Reinhold Niebuhr (1892-1971)
AND the ability to let go and be in the moment when there is nothing I can do in that moment to change our situation.