I dreamt last night that I returned to college, and went back to living in a dorm. I didn't even get to pick my roommates. I felt surprised by this "reversal of fortune" I was experiencing. When I woke up, I told my husband about my dream and questioned out loud what it meant. Weird dream.
The house is quiet now and I can think about it. Bill is off to work, my son is at school, my daughter is sleeping after coming home from school, sick, yesterday. It's a dark, gray rainy morning- more somber looking than yesterday, but I know this day is filled with potential. I felt tempted to be agitated in spirit over several upcoming events, and then I let that burden go. Just let it go, with a smile. Happy people do not worry about things. If you keep things simple- what is my job today, and what is God's?- you decide you really can do your small little part.
"God is more glorified by a man who uses the good things of this life in simplicity and with gratitude than by the nervous asceticism of someone who is agitated about every detail of his self-denial," Thomas Merton wrote.
Getting agitated is easy to do. Sticking to the simple plan of living in grace is rather hard to do- unless you just decide to accept the grace, simply and thankfully. Why get agitated if the choice before you is a clear one: agitation, because you think "it's all up to me" or happiness, because you think "God can handle this."
Which leads me to my dream. I didn't have to return to the past. That's my conclusion of the matter. I don't have to go back to college. I don't have to live in a dorm of college girls who are nice, mean, competitive, striving, lost, happy and raging with confusion. I did that. I was one of those girls. Didn't mean to be so messed up and confused, but frankly, you don't have much choice when you're 19 or 20.
But now, I'm ...(not going to tell you my age, for one thing) ...mature. Wise enough to be careful that I don't self sabotage. Stable enough to admit I'm only "safe" if I'm centered on His grace while my thinking gets solidified in and on His promises. I'm so glad to be where I am, now- and I'm not going back to those college days of excitement and confusion. I've got something better.
A sober expectation of good- not a giddy one, that's what I have. It's based on hindsight and on perspective. I "see" all around me. Yes, something good is on the horizon. I'm getting adept at delighting in happy moments. I am willing to be blessed, if you want to use a more spiritual term. Or to put it plainly,
I think I could handle being happy. And I think I hear God say, it's about time.