Much of this past week, my thinking has been absorbed with a pending decision. Not my own decision, but one to be made by a nameless faceless other; a decision that would have a big impact on my life in the near future. If the answer is yes: excitement, celebration, and maybe even some panic. If no: disappointment and perhaps the teeniest bit of relief.
I put my time in up front, months ago really, to influence a positive outcome. But I have no control over the yes or the no at this point. It is out of my hands. So much of life is like that, the peripheral stuff, other people’s whims, politics, weather, a doctor’s diagnosis. I was working myself into a perfect state of paralysis over all these external “what ifs.”
Then I sat down to write. As I write, I still don’t know the outcome of this major decision to be made by some nameless faceless other. And there is absolutely nothing I can do about it. But there is relief in this, in controlling these words. I have what is right here, my hands, keyboard, words in my head, dreams in my heart. I can decide each day what to do with these things. Nobody else can.
For me, that is a big life lesson I keep learning. The living is in what we can touch and determine. No matter the peripheral stuff, I will still make an excellent pot of coffee every morning as a way to show love to my husband. I will still walk up to the pond and back at least every other day, not only to stay fit, but to notice how the leaves are changing, to check if the cardinal and his mate still settle in the holly bush, to greet the three odd hounds behind the invisible electric fence. I will still cut chives from my garden in June and snowshoe over the frozen creek in January. I will still tuck my son in at night and linger after prayers to talk about all the stuffed animals and their various superpowers.
And I will still write my book.
None of these things will change, regardless of whatever decision is made outside of my reach. Even so, I had gotten myself pretty worked up about it all. As I was stressing over this pending “turning point,” a dear friend of mine put it all in perspective for me as she gently reminded, “It’s hard to imagine God being completely thrown by this.”
Oh, right. Do what I can. Leave the rest to God. He can handle it.