Remember the movie, Forrest Gump? The love of Forrest's life was Jenny - a neighbor girl who drifted in and out of his life over the course of the movie. At one point, she returns to Alabama, and, on a walk with Forrest, stops by her childhood home. This is a home in which she suffered major abuse from her own father - and as all of those reminders bubble up in her mind, she starts grabbing rocks and throwing them over and over at the house... breaking windows, denting siding, etc. until she is physically exhausted.
Watching her, Forrest remarks, "Sometimes, there just aren't enough rocks."
Some people I have met have had trials in their lives that have "sucked beyond the telling of it..." (my favorite quote from Buffy...) Things in their past or present that have just made their life so hard that they are suffering from anxiety and depression, It would be SO nice to just be able to grab all the rocks they can, and T H R O W them as hard as they can to vanquish the demons that have plagued them.
But as in the movie, on your own, there just aren't enough rocks to take care of it.
My sister-in-law, Stephany is very wise. She and her husband lost their daughter, Julia, after just 6 days of life due to a chromosomal abnormality that was infused into each and every gene and chromosome in Julia's body. It has been over 3 years since Julia's death. Since then, they have struggled with infertility, employment issues, and numerous family issues. Any ONE of these elements could have turned either of them into a bitter or angry person. 3 years later, their circumstances have not changed... their daughter is still buried, economic hardships still linger from past employment struggles, family members and their neuroses still plague them.
HOWEVER... their attitudes HAVE changed...
They are not bitter... or angry... or holed up in the fetal position underneath Julia's crib. They live. They laugh. They have sad moments, sure - but they are not letting their circumstances ruin their lives. In fact, Stephany, herself, has said that they went from wailing "WHY ME, LORD?!!!" to wondering in awe, "Why ME, Lord?!" - not an angry cry for justice... but a query as to how in the world was God able to take such tragic events and enfuse them with the strength, wisdom, and fortitude to deal with everything?! God, alone, can grant you strength and peace - something that a whole wheelbarrow of rocks cannot do.
One of my kids' favorite Bible tales is the story of David and Goliath.
Goliath, a Philistine champion, is ENORMOUS - the biggest man the Israelite soldiers have ever seen. Standing nearly 9 feet tall can wearing 200 pounds of hearty chain link mail, he towers over any soldier who wishes a challenge.... especially over the young shepherd, David, who is armed only with a homemade slingshot and some rocks. David refuses to let his circumstances dictate his faith - he believes that God will empower him to best Goliath - and God does not let him down. In this case, only ONE rock was enough... ONE rock, powered by God was all that was needed.
The start of a new year is when people tend to make their New Year's Resolutions. Mark Twain once said, "New Year's is the accepted time to make your regular annual good resolutions. Next week you can begin paving hell with them as usual." Most of us manage to keep our resolution for a few days (hours?) at best -then we toss them away when we realize that we aren't quite ready to commit to that particular self-improvement. But what if your resolution is to stop trying to change the circumstances around you - and to alter your attitude from the inside-out. Stop trying to FIX other people and let God work WITHIN you to change your reactions, your perceptions, your heart.
Trust in the Lord with all your heart
and lean not on your own understanding;
in all your ways acknowledge him,
and he will make your paths straight.
The change with worth the effort... I promise.
May your 2010 be filled with knowledge, peace, and contentment,