Thursday, January 31, 2008

A Time for Balance

Hello Friends,

As age and I become more familiar, I find that I have difficulty maintaining my balance. I've been doing a rather funny ballet, usually on the down-hill slant, sort of like a marionette dancing on a string. I fall occasionally, just enough to alarm my family. Sometimes I get anxious about it, but mostly it merely gives me one more reason to laugh at myself. I tell my family, "don't worry; once you've hit the ground, you quit falling!"

I love to laugh, and nothing makes me laugh harder than to see myself mimicked by someone who loves me with a tender heart. There's no ridicule in our family. That's what I grew up with. But a good hearty laugh about one's eccentricities and foibles is definitely good for the soul. It's one of the ways that I maintain my balance in a tilting world.

Another thing that helps me keep my balance is prayer. Yes, God is the perfect balance for this thirsty soul. I talk to Him about hopes and dreams; my anxieties and fears; my marriage and my children. I try not to have a hardened heart; because I have never known a single hardened person, who was ever happy. I cannot believe that "Ah-Ha! Now, I've trapped you!" has ever helped anyone. Trapping people with words and accusations. This is not happiness, it is a self-fulfilling prophesy of "heart" failure (Pun, definitely intended).

Why is it that people hold onto anger and hurt? Sadly, my mother did that. She accumulated past hurts, like she was collecting stamps. Not only did her past hurts become a millstone around her happiness, but after awhile they took on a life of their own. Hurt, anger, and retaliation became her life achievement.

Doesn't it feel better to move on? Isn't it more fulfilling to let it go? I'm very aware that forgiveness often requires a closed door. There are some people who must be placed in the past and remain behind that door. I pray for that person and move on. There is no reason to lay down in the driveway and allow them to back the car over you. That's not forgiveness. It's sheer stupidity. I have had to close the door on destructive relationships, in order to let my heart heal. I have had to place the personally destructive person into God's hands, and move away, often literally. After awhile, by the grace of God, one can forgive, while also maintaining a perimeter of safety.

I probably never will understand why someone chooses to hate. Hatred in one's heart keeps that heart far from God. So, I do my best to approach God, telling Him how I feel; no matter how angry I am. He really is there, waiting with open arms, and He will dry your tears. So, keep God as your true friend, because He will be, if you let Him in.

There are many tortured souls who spend their entire lives choosing war against God. What is that? They write books, saying, "God is dead" or "Faith is dead." For whom? Themselves? How juvenile is that? If they do not believe in God, why are they always talking about Him? Why spend your entire life professing lack of belief, when you can be happier professing what you believe?

So, this day, I pray for your happiness. I pray for love and meaning in your life. I pray for your protection, and that of your children. I pray for balance in your life, as well as my own. May the God of peace grant you joyful rest from every hurt, and may He give you a tomorrow filled with hope.

Father in heaven, grant us the grace to desire no will of our own; and in failing that, as we all will do, I ask for Your forgiveness, and the peace that only You can give.

With love,
Jaye Lewis

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