“Report Report” lives up to its name more than usual this week – due to a ‘road encounter’ I had on the way to work Monday – with another person… but first with the car she was driving!
You may recall a prior post about me and Mondays*. I start fretting about Monday on Sunday afternoon – which is a direct violation of this Biblical admonition.
Don’t fret or worry. Instead of worrying, pray. Let petitions and praises shape your worries into prayers, letting God know your concerns. (Philippians 4:6, The Message)
While I appreciate the phrasing, “Let petitions and praises shape your worries into prayers,” fretting and worrying comes so naturally for me.
At work my department has been in a lull for a several weeks so I brace myself mentally for days that are often long and slow. On Mondays, an entire week of such days may await…
But this Monday, I resolved to not allow myself to languish into anxiety. Instead, I dedicated myself to let petitions and praise shape my worries into prayers.
Driving to work, I prayed, “Lord, I give this day and week to you. Help me today to be content and centered on You regardless of what the day brings. In all the circumstances that arise this day, whatever happens, I will rest in You and trust in You.”
My route is actually very pleasant. Its only 20 minutes and the final few miles is a new stretch of road called the Martin Parkway cut through a scenic region of wetlands and hardwoods and rolling grassy hills.
I believe I was actually praying when a car barreled in front of me as I was in a large roundabout on the southern edge of this parkway stretch. I tried to veer and brake but was unable to avoid the collision. WHAM! Our vehicles collided with a sickening thunk. We people walked away but our cars are a bit banged up.
Contentment. Its been a recurrent theme the Lord has brought to me often during this five-year period that has unsettled our “nice little life.”
I’ve learned by now to be quite content whatever my circumstances. I’m just as happy with little as with much, with much as with little. I’ve found the recipe for being happy whether full or hungry, hands full or hands empty. Whatever I have, wherever I am, I can make it through anything in the One who makes me who I am. (From Philippians 4: 10-11, The Message)
You don’t need to tell me that this auto collision is covered in the “whatever my circumstances” part. In another letter, Paul said essentially the same thing.
Be cheerful no matter what; pray all the time; thank God no matter what happens. This is the way God wants you who belong to Christ Jesus to live. (1 Thessalonians 5:18, The Message)
This is the way that we who follow Jesus are to live – “no matter what happens.” Its not conditional. It’s a state of being that runs through situations when life gets “collisional.” It reflects who we have become due entirely to the source of ALL our hope – Christ!
Life is collisional. God’s word is also very clear about that. So I pray to be so transformed by the practice of shaping my worries into prayers that my default mode is no longer fretting and worrying but being content.