Welcome to the blog of author Marlo Schalesky!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Learning from Life's Ups & Downs

Hi Friends!

The ups and downs of life have got me thinking lately. We go to a horse show on Saturday and Jayna does a great job in goat-tying (her first time!). Yay! But then she gets bucked off in the very next event (cattle sorting). Ack! Then I get a reader letter telling me how one of my books made a difference in someone's life. Yay! Sales numbers come in. Yikes! We get a new client in our engineering firm. Yay! Unexpected bills come in. Boo! One friend finds out she's pregnant at last. Another calls to say she had a miscarriage. The kids are healthy. The kids get sick. Things go well. Things go badly. LIFE IS LIKE THAT. Up, down, up, down.

So, as I think about how life is, I've been considering this verse: “I am the Alpha and the Omega,” says the Lord God, “who is, and who was, and who is to come, the Almighty.” (Revelation 1:8)

And in that verse, I've discovered a disturbing fact. I'm not God. Big surprise, huh? And yet, while that may seem like an obvious truth, it defies much of what I was told as a child. “You can do anything you set your mind to,” “Achieve your dreams,” “All it takes is a little hard work.”

But honestly, I’ve come to realize that very little of my life is actually within my control. I can’t undo past mistakes. I can’t control what happens to me today – if someone will crash into my car, if it’ll rain and spoil my morning plans, if I catch a cold. I can’t even guarantee my future. I could die today, or get cancer, or never get another writing contract.

That’s why I’m glad God is God of today, yesterday, and tomorrow.

He is God of today. Whatever happens is in His hands. The good, and the difficult. And moreover, He is the God of how I choose to spend this day, this hour, this minute. None of my “now” belongs to me. He is God of it all. And I need to remember that.

He is God of yesterday. There’s nothing in my past that can’t be forgiven, and there’s nothing I’ve done that He can’t turn to good. He is the God who can transform an instrument of execution (the cross) into a symbol of life and hope.He is God of tomorrow, of my hopes and dreams, and my fears. I can leave all that in His hands.

So, in the realities of life, I'm finding it's not my job to "achieve my dreams." It's not my call to grasp after what I want, and despair when things don't go as hoped. All I can do is try to be faithful to Him today, in the circumstances in which I find myself. Rejoice with the good, mourn with the bad, and seek just to know Him better, see Him better, and maybe, in that, glimpse a bit of His glory, and with it, perhaps a bit of His vision for me.