Tuesday, March 10, 2009


Today's meditation starts with the antiphons for the psalms from the Office of Readings. Today there is just one psalm, number 37, split into 3 sections. The first antiphon is:
Surrender to God, and he will do everything for you.
The second is:
Turn away from evil, learn to do God's will; the Lord will strengthen you if you obey him.
And the third:
Wait for the Lord to lead, then follow in his way.
The psalm is basically a riff on "Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things will be given you besides." I like the first section, especially, so much that I'm going to quote the whole thing:
Do not fret because of the wicked; do not envy those who do evil:
for they wither quickly like grass and fade like the green of the fields.
If you trust in the Lord and do good, then you will live in the land and be secure.
If you find your delight in the Lord, he will grant your heart's desire.
Commit your life to the Lord, trust in him and he will act,
so that your justice breaks forth like the light, your cause like the noon-day sun.
Be still before the Lord and wait in patience; do not fret at the man who prospers;
a man who makes evil plots to bring down the needy and the poor.
Calm your anger and forget your rage; do not fret, it only leads to evil.
For those who do evil shall perish; the patient shall inherit the land.
A little longer -- and the wicked shall have gone. Look at his place, he is not there.
But the humble shall own the land and enjoy the fullness of peace.
"Do not fret", over and over again. Don't worry ... don't be angry ... be patient and content and trust in God. Later on, in the 3rd part, it says:
I was young and now I am old, but I have never seen the just man forsaken
nor his children begging for bread.
All the day he is generous and lends, and his children become a blessing.
"Surrender to God, and he will do everything for you." "Turn away from evil, learn to do God's will; the Lord will strengthen you if you obey him." "Wait for the Lord to lead, then follow in his way."

Surrender. Learn. Obey. Wait. Follow. And do not fret.

I've been fretting a lot lately, because I am broke and can't see how I will pay the bills from month to month. Fretting is not good. Somehow I need to get the urgency of taking action without the paralyzing effect of anxiety. My response to worry is to hide under the covers ... that doesn't get the job applications done. I am a master of ignoring unpleasant realities, like the fact that I have to get a job at all -- after a year and a half of living joyfully on my buy-out money. I guess I'm fretting because I think I will be as miserable in another job as I was in my old one. I can't figure out a happy way to make a living, at least not earning enough or soon enough to cover the mortgage on this house, and downsizing is just not an option in this market -- I can't get it sold. So I hide under the covers, get closer and closer to bills not getting paid, more and more stressed out and that sends me hiding under the covers even more. I start filling out job applications and my mind just wanders. I live in the DC Metro area, so there are a lot of good government jobs -- with ridiculously long and involved application requirements. I'm working on it ... but mentally it's a struggle.

I'm obeying, following (working on it); now I need to surrender, wait, trust, not fret.

This is, of course, the AA 3rd step: "Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood him." One of those AA slogans that has stuck with me for the past 20 years is "do the next right thing." It means that I don't have to know how things are going to turn out ... I don't have to worry about outcomes. I just need to do one next right thing, whatever is in front of me right now. I just need to "trust in the Lord and do good ... then I will live in the land and be secure. If I find my delight in the Lord, he will grant my heart's desire."


1 comment:

  1. Hi Regina,

    You always post on something that I am dealing with on that day. Are you reading my mind? :)

    Surrender is so hard. I used to make the joke that I wonder why God just does not listen to me and just do what I want Him to do! It would make things so much easier!

    Of course, God works in mysterious ways and I have lived long enough to know that He is far wiser than me. However, I wish He would move faster because this patience thing can be a bit too much sometimes! :)

    Thank you again for sharing your journey. Your sincerity and honesty are very apparent. God Bless You! :)