Thursday, January 3, 2013

2013: Open

I have not been terribly consistent with giving my years a name, but this year needs a word.


What do I mean by that?  Well, I guess open for me means letting go.  It means opening my arms, opening my hands, releasing all that I clutch to, in some misguided feeling of taking control.  I am a take charge personality.  I see a job that needs to be done, I tend to step in and make sure it gets done.  I am a classic first-born, which resulted in the belief that not only can I do anything, but that I know the best way to do it!  I also married a first-born - you can imagine those first few years of marriage - arguing over the best way to load the dishwasher, or fold the shirts, or anything else you can imagine.
I love to organize, though I often watch as things fall into chaos around me.  I try to grab the pieces and put them together, to make them fit the way I think they should.

Intellectually, I know I am not in control.  I am completely in God's hands.  But, there are times I forget that I am not running my life, that I haven't got it all figured out.  And those moments can be startling.  They can also be the best moments in life.  When we learn to embrace God's timing, not our own, we can learn to follow our Good Shepherd wherever he may lead.

So, I am seeking to OPEN my heart to God, to my family, to the beauty that daily surrounds me, and to gratefully accept the many beautiful gifts this new year offers.

Do not weary yourself with cares that consume you both day and night and give you not a moment of peace.  Such care is a sinful disease.  It shows that a man is relying upon himself and has forgotten God, that he has lost hope in God's Providence, that he wants to arrange everything for himself solely by his own efforts and to procure all that is necessary and preserve what he has procured by his own means.  He has become chained in his heart to his property, and thinks to rest upon it as though it were a solid foundation.  Love of possessions has bound him, and he thinks only of how to get more into his hands.  This mammon has replaced God for him.  By all means, work - but do not weary yourself with evil cares.  Expect every success from God and commit your lot into His hands.  Accept all that you obtain as a gift from the Lord's hand, and wait with the firm hope that He will continue his generous giving.  Know that if God so desires, a rich man can lose all that he has in one minute.  All is decay and dust.  Is it worthwhile wearying yourself for this?  So take no thought!

St. Theophan the Recluse