This morning as I was thinking through my day, I felt anxiety tighten my chest and creep into my shoulders. I felt the inward clamoring of stuff: an email needing to be answered right away, the writing deadline in front of me that needed inspiration, the upcoming events that require preplanning. I felt the pressure to know things: like how to respond in a certain conversation, how to predict government movements, what people might be needing as they come through our doors. And I felt my own longings: to live thoughtfully and maybe a bit slower, to follow a thought to its end rather than postponing the journey to the next pocket of time, to be contemplative in the midst of so much action.

All of us in some kind of change know this simultaneous piece of life. Things don’t usually unfold one thing at a time…in order…patiently waiting their turn. It’s more like walking, machete in hand, through overgrown terrain trying to cut through branches blocking your way and catching you in the face. It can be exhausting.

Am I doing the right things? Is this the best way to do this? Just make a decision! These kinds of words pop in and out of our heads and often we reach the end of the day one of two ways: either satisfied that we got it all done or hoping the effort was enough that tomorrow’s outcome will be ok.

Maybe you’re like me and find yourself making assumptions that unless you do “it,” “it” won’t get done. That ultimately outcomes sit on your shoulders and so you “better watch out, you better not cry,” and you better not make mistakes or waste time. Be wise. Do it right. Get it done.

See why my chest gets tight? I bet yours does too.

Where does the pressure come from? Whose voice do I hear in my head urging me this way or that? What do I feel when I catch myself and realize that all of a sudden, I’ve made myself God?

When change comes one question it asks is, “Who is responsible?” We so often answer, “Me!” because we are determined the outcome should look a certain way. But what if the great gift in this question is the invitation to hand over the outcome? To surrender to a different picture than the one in our head? To look at Jesus and see One who holds all the desires of our hearts over against the pathway that will, in the end, draw us close to His heart?

As I write this my chest warms and relaxes. My heart eyes recognize those nail-pierced hands holding these changing times. I let myself remember some of the many ways He has held me together in the past. And in a wonderful moment of surrender, I trust Him again for today.

How about you?

ACTION: Which questions draw you today? What is it like to share them with Jesus?


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