Psalm 37: 7-9: “Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him; do not fret when men succeed in their ways, when they carry out their wicked schemes. Refrain from anger and turn from wrath; do not fret—it leads only to evil. For evil men will be cut off, but those who hope in the Lord will inherit the land.”
This has been my catch-all phrase for 2012, and I am not the only one who seems to be using it lately. If you hear me saying it, it’s not meant in a sarcastic or depressing way, Instead, it expresses that because I live in a sinful world, bad things inevitably will happen and when they do, I need to find a way to overcome, defeat, change, or accept them – depending upon the specific circumstance.
Another way to describe this phrase was explained by the pastor of Youth Ministries at First Wes, Marc Ulrich. He delivered the message a few weeks ago and stated during the sermon, “You are not in control of what happens to you, but you are in control of your response.”
That is so true. I may not be able to predict the thunderstorm that surges our power, picking and choosing which electronics it will wipe out, but I am in control of whether or not I let it ruin my day. I cannot control my kids getting sick and therefore postponing our plans of going away for a much needed vacation, but I can control how I respond: Either with popcorn and a movie night or spewing my crabbiness on anyone within yelling distance. I am not in charge of the traffic, how much work I will have, or how to juggle all the activities that seem to land in the same week. I can control if I start my day with my Heavenly Father, eat healthy foods so I am at peak performance level, and remembering to check my attitude when it starts to get snarly.
So…if you happen to hear me say from time to time, “It is what it is,” I am just reminding myself that I cannot change my circumstances, but I need to check my response to whatever I am dealing with. When I accept my surroundings where they are, it frees me up from time spent complaining or needlessly worrying and instead puts that energy toward a reasonable solution. How about you?