A Lesson Learned From My Own Writing
I am humbled. Let me explain why.
For a 30 month period, ending in December of last year, I had been working on my latest book, Calming the Storm Within: How to Find Peace in This Chaotic World(released in December, 2012). The two weeks leading up to the launch were a whirlwind with me trying to get a lot of stuff completed. I admit it…I didn’t have a lot of peace. Though I explain in the book that one of the main reasons I wrote this was because of my struggle with attaining peace, I am still humbled by this. Me, the author of a book on peace, struggling with finding it…go figure.
As I was perusing the text of the book, I came to the realization that I had been trying to control the process. I was not relinquishing control to God. And thus, I had no peace. Here is the excerpt from the book–about a time a little over two years ago–that really caught my attention:
As I write this chapter, it is late February. I am looking out the window of my home office and the scene is quite breathtaking. It seems that every tree branch in sight is glistening because of last night’s ice storm. To my left is one of the several birch trees in our yard. It is approximately 30 feet tall and quite beautiful. Currently the top of the tree is resting on the ground, yet the tree is not broken…it looks like a big catapult.
Earlier today, I ran a quick errand and I noticed the wreckage all around our community. Many, many trees were destroyed from the weight of the ice. I saw some in which every branch of the tree was broken off and the only thing left was a short, stubby and lonely trunk. Many yards had branches littered about. Even some streets were temporarily closed because of the limbs in the road.
This left me wondering why some trees, like our birches, seemed to have survived the storm while others were killed or permanently scarred. I have noticed over the years that birch trees are very flexible. They sway with the wind and the storms. Other trees tend to be much more rigid and inflexible. It is those rigid trees whose branches were broken off in this storm. The birch and other flexible trees simply bent with the storm and will eventually return to their original condition, stronger for the experience.
The same is true in your life. If you are rigid and desirous of control, you, too, might have branches broken off which can leave painful scars, or worse. However, if you let go of your desire to control and let God have His way in your life, you can also be restored, a stronger person for the experience. Remember, God is working on your behalf. In all things, He is working FOR you (see Romans 8:28).
A lack of peace may occur in your heart when you try to take control of something in which you do not have control. This often happens because of the underlying fear that you may have in your heart…a fear that God is not going to provide or protect. This fear can then lead to worry and anxiety.
I have realized that I have been acting like these rigid trees…and have been experiencing the pain of my branches being snapped off. This has been a great reminder for me to release my desire for control.
God used my own writing to convict me…incredible! He is amazing and He does have a great sense of humor!
Jim Lange lives in Lambertville, MI and is the president of Five Feet Twenty (www.5feet20.com), an organization that coaches leaders and helps them to be all God made them to be. His latest book, Calming the Storm Within can be found at http://www.calmingthestormwithin.com.