Friday, June 21, 2013

Life Lessons

     I am not convinced that we all have the same life lessons to learn.  Or rather, I am convinced that each individual has a unique group of life lessons that they are called to learn.  Some are called to learn surrender, some are called to listen more deeply to their hearts, some are called to trust more in Divine presence.   One of my life lessons seems to be about being an adult - in my life, God does not make big decisions easy for me by "pointing the way," at least not blatantly. It seems that God asks me again and again to be the adult in my own life, struggle with decisions and make them without being given great signs about what to do.  I ask - I ask repeatedly to be told what to do.  And usually the response I get is something along the lines of, "I call you to be an adult in this.  But I will be with you in whatever you decide, loving you, supporting you, offering grace."  Really, there are times when I get tired of this life lesson.  I want to be told what to do.  I don't want to make hard decisions.  (I am afraid of making big mistakes!)  So I "cheat".  I ask other people to tell me what I should do.  My daughter seems to have a different life lesson - hers is more surrender.  So I'll ask her to ask God what I should do.  Once again, I hear the divine chuckle as God watches this particular game that I play, continues to love me through it, but doesn't help me get out of the lesson I need to learn.  So I guess part II to the lesson for me is that we do make mistakes.  We will make mistakes.  But even in those mistakes, God loves us and works to bring the highest good out of our failings.
     But different people have different life lessons. For those who are called to learn the art of surrender, there may be more signs of what the person is called to surrender to.  And some are called to listen more deeply.
     For me, while I don't always like the life lessons, this is another occasion when I feel that the serenity prayer applies.  In greatly edited version, very specific to myself:  God, grant me the serenity to accept that I cannot change your call for me to be an adult.  Give me the courage to choose paths that may not always be the easiest, but feel they have the most God/Life/Love in them.  And give me the wisdom to know that it is okay if I make mistakes in my attempts to find the path, follow it and do so with a loving, open heart; and that you will forgive and be with me even when I fail.
   I pray this for everyone - that we may surrender to our life lessons and strive to learn them with grace.  That we may not shirk those challenges but face them with dignity and humility.  That we may have courage in facing them, and that we may accept our efforts that don't quite make the grade.  Whatever your life lessons, God is with you.  And that is a comforting thought indeed.