Do or Do Not, Peace in the “or”
“Do or do not. There is no try.” ~ Yoda
“If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you. But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind.” ~ James 1:5-6
Who knew Yoda was channeling James?
Wisdom is there for the asking. But, when you ask…believe. Ah, there’s the rub. Doubt. You know, doubting yourself. Very aware that you cannot do. And that sets us doubting the One who never “tries” – just does. What He says, goes. What He speaks, is.
Wouldn’t it be nice if it were simple? Whatever occurred to me that needs doing, just do it. (Like the Nike ads). I’m faced with several dilemma’s here:
- there’s so much that needs doing
- there’s so little I can do about much of what needs doing
- who am I to say what needs doing?
- am I meant to be the one doing it?
It’s a dilemma for me, for sure. When I know about things that ought to be better, I wanna do, but should I? I pick up the morning paper and read about all the things wrong in the world. Hunger and poverty, war and injustice, murders and crime, lying and cheating and political spin…it’s a regular 10 commandment-breaking heyday out there. I wanna do something about everything. It’s reflexive. Some might say…kinesthetic.
But then, I don’t really know what to do. Or perhaps I’m not meant to do. If I can make a difference, should I? If I can do something but my doing it would make little to no difference, should I? Really, my potential impact shouldn’t be the deciding factor. My awareness shouldn’t really be either – though I can’t act on something I don’t know about. It all comes back to that doggone discernment. Resting in the “or.” Do or do not. Wait, and see what God tells you before you fly off the handle – again.
This is a good reminder to me today, as I send my high schooler back to school. There are so many hardships out there, and I’ll hear about plenty of them when she comes home. Most – a decreasing number actually – are not mine to manage. I’m her sounding board, her scratching post and yes, sometimes her punching bag. My blood does boil and my muscles tense when I hear what happens out there in the world, especially when it happens to someone I love. But I need to spend more time in the “or.”
I believe I’ll start now, giving the ‘or’ to God – whatever might come. Perhaps by the end of the school day I’ll have quieted enough to hear peace in the which things I must do and those which I must not do. Trying is way too hard.
Holding on to those words…
“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.” ~ John 14:27
Because the moment they were spoken, they were so, they are so, they will ever be so. That is the mystery of faith. Do not doubt, but believe.