Monday, June 9, 2008

Going with the Flow

When I let go and let God, I am blessed beyond measure, but I need to remind myself frequently to do that. Sometimes I start resisting b/c in my perception, things are not going the way I want. That is when I need to realize that perception is how I see things, but I have a narrow lens, not the huge view finder that God has. For instance, in 2002 and 2003, the Lawrence Public School district of Lawrence, KS, laid off 131 educators. I was one of them. I had taught twenty years, but I was new to this district. As a non-tenured teacher in my first year here, I didn’t survive the budget cuts. I was devastated. I railed against the injustice of it all. Now six years later, I see that it was a blessing in disguise. It actually led to the desire of my heart. I now am a substitute teacher, or a guest teacher (my preference of title since I know that I am a real teacher, not a substitute). I have flexibility in my day. I didn’t understand it at the time, but now I have clarity. “In the same way, we can see and understand only a little about God now, as if we were peering at His reflection in a poor mirror, but someday, we are going to see Him in His completeness, face to face. Now all that I know is hazy and blurred, but then I will see everything clearly, just as clearly as God sees into my heart right now.” I Corinthians 13:12. Now I am able to go to work everyday, enjoy the kids, and come home with no papers to grade or parents to contact. What a blessing! I used to prepare for classes for hours. Now I can truly enjoy the whole experience and have plenty of time left over for my family and travel. The absolute wonder of the situation is this. For the twenty years I needed a contract position, I had one. When I was a single mother, struggling to raise my daughters without child support, I always had a contract job. Now that I am happily remarried and on my husband’s health plan, I no longer need a contract job and all the stress that goes with it. I am truly following my bliss. In the fall of 2004, Mom sold the family ranch in the Sandhills of Nebraska and divided the money up among her children. I used that funding to pay off our lovely home so now we have no house payments. Isn’t it surprising? My job layoff, something that appeared so devastating, was actually a most wonderful catalyst for a very positive change in my life. Had I known all that was forthcoming, my perception of my layoff would have changed from something very traumatic to something very joyous in an instant! Instead of crying about it, I would have been celebrating, but then I looked “through the glass darkly” instead of with the clarity I now have. The Dalai Lama said, "Remember, not getting what you want is sometimes a wonderful stroke of luck."


Patty said...

"Happiness in this world, when it comes, comes incidentally. Make it the object of pursuit, and it leads us a wild-goose chase, and is never attained. Follow some other object, and very possibly we may find that we have caught happiness without dreaming of it." wrote Nathaniel Hawthorne. Just going with the flow and accepting what comes along brings contentment. Happiness can come out of no where when we are least expecting it.

Patty said...

This is a wonderful video called "The Last Lecture" by Randy Pausch about achieving your childhood dreams. You will be inspired.

Patty said...

This is another inspirational video. This format for sending links isn't nearly as nice as the one on facebook because here you have to copy and paste, but oh, well....this video is worth it.

Back to going with the flow...I was reading in today's DAILY WORD about sweet surrender, and I thought it went perfectly with this topic. First of all, I like this verse in Acts 15:8 "And God, Who knows the human heart testified to them by giving them the Holy Spirit, just He did to us." I am so thankful for the Holy Spirit b/c He guides me and gives me peace when I surrender and go with the flow. I always thank God for renewing me as I am enjoying my spiritual nature flow that takes me right into joy. It's almost summer, but I want to share a poem that is so optimistic that I am just awed by it. Everything is as it should be.

"The year's at the spring
And the day's at morn;
Morning's at seven;
The hillside's dew-pearled;
The lark's on the wing;
The snail's on the thorn;
God's in his heaven--
All's right with the world."

(Robert Browning 1812-1889)

Let's live our lives in "awe" instead of "awful". Wayne Dyer says, "Rather than seeing ourselves as connected to this world, we often feel we are in it to push it around and make it conform to us. Rather than accepting it, we twist it to feed our ego, creating havoc, imbalance, and what we call imperfection. Then the ultimate irony, we blame God for the very conditions we create out of the perfection that is our GIFT from GOD." It would be good if we didn't manufacture problems but just stood back in awe, knowing that God's way is perfect. Robert Browning also wrote, "All the wonder and wealth of the mine in the heart of one gem: In the care of one pearl all the shade and the shine of the sea....Truth, that's brighter than gem, trust, that's purer than pearl." If we could just look at the world with appreciation for the truth and trust in the wonders of miracles, we would say, "Isn't it surprising?" Jesus said, "Be ye perfect, even as your Father in heaven is perfect." We don't have to change anything today....just go with the flow.

tfc said...

I am impressed to share God's blessing in our lives. Tom and I wanted to pay off bills this year. We have only gone on one trip so far to see his mom Adele & his sisters & nieces. We are seeing God's hand in our having more than enough to pay our bills and hitting the debts. I am so thankful that I have a God who cares about me.
Love Elizabeth

Patty said...

Elizabeth, it is so nice to hear from you. I'm so impressed with the way you and Tom are handling your finances. Frank & I are trying to do the same thing. God bless you today and every day, Elizabeth. I was just on the blog ready to comment when I saw your comment. I recently read a powerful story about a man I consider a hero. It isn't about finances, but it is about surviving horrendous hardship through choosing to remain strong on the inside with God's help. So here is the story.

Viktor Frankl, a psychiatrist in Nazi Germany, who was imprisoned in several concentration camps in WW II, said, "We must never forget that we may also find meaning in life even when confronted with a hopeless situation." The real secret to the meaning of life is that it is within us. Frankl found meaning in dire circumstances because his attitude was that of a victor not a victim, and he chose to help others, keep his dignity, and remain loving even while living in horrendous conditions. This makes me think that I have so much in which to be grateful in my abundant life. It is sometimes scary to go with the flow. A lot of times we can't control our circumstances. Frankl could have fought his circumstances and perished, but instead he chose to control the only thing he could...his attitude or his outlook on life. He had control of himself. We always have a choice of how we react to what happens in our lives. I choose sweet surrender.

Patty said...

"The pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity, and the optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty." (Abraham Lincoln)