This is the first post in a semi-regular series of meditations mashups of Emotions Anonymous’ “Reflection for Today” and BibleGateway’s “Verse of the Day”.

January 6

EA Reflection for Today

I started giving God a chance to control the outcome of things as suggested in Step Three. I discovered when I did that, I was freer to do what had to be done. When I remember I cannot control the universe (not even my own little universe), I can relax and let my Higher Power take over the worries of my world. It is such marvelous freedom to not be in control. The energy I save when I turn my life over to God as I understand God can be spent enjoying all the good things: love, smiles, family, friends, hugs, or nature. I have to make that conscious decision of surrender every day of my life. What a relief!

Meditation for Today

I pray I continue to have the sense to turn my life and my will over to You each morning as I awaken.

Today I will remember

Worry is worthless; surrender is serenity.

Excerpt From: Emotions Anonymous. “Today.” Apple Books

BibleGateway Verse of the Day

So prepare your minds for action and exercise self-control. Put all your hope in the gracious salvation that will come to you when Jesus Christ is revealed to the world.

1 Peter 1:13 (New Living Translation)

True self-control, for people of faith, is quite different from what society — including the church — teaches you about it. It’s not about suppressing who you are or bottling up your emotions, nor is it about being on your best behavior at all times. True Gospel self-control is the gift of freedom!

Think about it: when are you most likely to lose control? It’s usually when you’re asked to exert more power than you have. Others’ demands weigh you down; the darkness of the world overwhelms you; your own raging emotions burst the brittle container of your will: that’s when our selves let go of the wheel, and something older and more sinister takes over.

Once you realize how limited your powers really are, once you encounter that benign power infinitely larger than yourself that we call God, all of those pulling, pushing forces recede into their proper place. You are set free from complying with people’s whims and from assessing yourself by their standards. You begin to say yes and no when appropriate. You understand that the suffering of the world is forever out of your hand; in fact, it has already been dealt with.

All of which calms the raging storm within you. It brings your attention back from things you are powerless over. And it gives you room to freely take responsibility for the thin layer of reality where you do, indeed, have control: the realm of action.

I write about faith, language and culture, about identity and the nature of self.