One Uncompromising Essential of True Success (Continued)By
Ok, when the world is coming apart at the seams how do I keep my sanity?” you may be asking after reading my last post. “I get not adding to the confusion but I need to take care of myself first.”
A few weeks ago, I was talking with a client in my office and she said, “I’m frightened about our country and our economy. I’ terrified with what’s going on. All the shady things with the government, the economy and now the oil spill. It’s different than it’s ever been. I’ve never been afraid like I am now.”
We talked about some of the specifics and she asked, “Aren’t you afraid. Don’t you think it’s different this time?”
“I am concerned,” I replied. “We do have real problems. I’m most concerned about the breakdown in moral values that we see. But then I realize we’ve always had people trying to take advantage of others. There have been sketchy people in government and business forever.”
“So while the specifics are different the core problem isn’t. And through it all our country has continued to survive and thrive. It doesn’t mean we shouldn’t be concerned and involved. We need to be. Yet worry doesn’t change anything for the positive.”
I don’t think that satisfied her. She left still worried. In her defense she has recently gone through some very difficult times which is coloring her view right now.
But it caused me to reflect and ask, “Am I ignoring the facts or is there a reason to be hopeful or at least at peace?”
I’m constantly reading to stay up with the latest events and ideas. Yet, I sincerely try to approach all that is truly out of my control through eyes of faith. I realize I’m not in control but I don’t have to be. I trust that God ultimately is in control and is caring for me personally. That gives me a real sense of peace in the midst of the chaos.
All the time? I wish. I’m still anxious and irritated more than I care to admit. Though definitely not as much as I used to be.
One of the great things about our generation is we are linked up instantly with everything going on in the world. We can immediately know what’s happening in France, Nigeria or Indonesia. Yet, the bad news? We instantly know everything going on in the world. And most of what’s reported is bad.
So while we stay hooked up so we can make intelligent decisions it also creates anxiety when it seems the whole world is coming unglued at times. I don’t know really if things are worse or we just live in a time where we know about more of it. But the emotional reactions can become debilitating if we allow them to.
One of my favorite Psalms says, “Be still in the Lord and wait patiently for him. Don’t fret when men carry out wicked schemes.”
Seems this problem really isn’t new. Those words were written about 3000 years ago.
I love the image to be “still” in the Lord. It says to me to be quiet. Stop the frantic worry. Rest for a bit. Wait patiently for God to act in his time.
The famous “Serenity Prayer” which was written by theologian Reinhold Niebuhr and adopted by AA goes:
“God, grant us the serenity to. . .
Accept things we cannot change,
Courage to change the things we can, and the
Wisdom to know the difference”
The fourth stanza, which is rarely quoted, adds,
“Patience for the things that take time.”
Pretty much encompasses it all doesn’t it?
So while tuned in to the world chaos how do we find that serenity?All I can say is what helps me.
I try to continually live confidently.
I’m confident God still is in control. There have always been self centered and evil people. They don’t stop God’s power and plan.
I’m confident because we have been here before. It’s like a remake of an old movie. The actors are different and the scenery and situation seem new. But the plot looks familiar and we can guess the ending. Well me, not so much. I forget movies about as fast as I watch them.
I’m confident that as I’m “still” and trust God his promises of protection are true for me. I believe he’s still caring for me personally no matter what others are doing. And my safety and prosperity are contingent ultimately on him.
I’m confident God will guide me. In the midst of diligently working, he infuses my mind with his guidance. I don’t pretend to understand how it all works. I’m just glad it does.
I’m confident that even though it appears unethical people get ahead in the short run, eventually the good ones win. So I choose to wait patiently instead of fretting about something which solves nothing and only stresses me out.
I wish I could say I’m that confident every day. I’m not. But just knowing what I can be confident in gives me a perspective that helps me stay calm. That keeps my focus clear and enables me to live in constructive ways like we talked about last week.
What helps you to stay centered and calm in the midst of chaos? I’d love to hear.
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Douglas Armey, the LPL Financial adviser associated with this website, practices in Fresno, California and may discuss and/or transact business only with residents of the following states: California, Idaho and Oregon.
The opinions voiced in this material are for general information only and are not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual. To determine which investment(s) may be appropriate for you, consult your financial advisor prior to investing. All performance reference is historical and is no guarantee of future results.