Acceptance doesn’t mean giving in or giving up; it means giving all – your hopes, sorrows, worries – to God” ~ from “Acceptance Therapy” by Lisa Engelhardt
Acceptance is such an interesting concept. It seems so easy, right? But , I sometimes find it to be one of the most difficult things to do. When I accept someone’s point of view that differs from mine, it feels like giving in or giving up my opinion. But is it really? It may be tough to do, but might I see it as making room for another perspective? Even if I do not agree with, I might still accept it as a possible perception that works for someone, without accepting it as my own. That fits with the concept of tolerance that I was speaking about last week.
In fact, I have found through my own experiences, that accepting some things can actually free me up to let go of complaining and encourages me to figure out what I can do instead. Like perhaps the fact that I can’t travel to all the places I want to go to due to limited resources or health limitations or whatnot. So, I got creative. In my case, through leading mission trips with churches or volunteer vacations with a company called Global Citizens’ I lead trips to various areas, both within and outside of the U.S., facilitating groups of people interacting with and serving other native cultures, who were actually living in poverty. This way my expenses were covered. And what absolutely fabulous and enriching experiences I had with amazing people – native and visitors! All because I accepted my less-than-ideal reality and used it to direct me on a different path. I did not really end up giving anything up.
I think the same kind of thing happens when I accept ANYTHING that goes against what I think I really want or need. What do I know? When I accept the things that are out of my control – and gosh darn it! there are so many! Rather than fight them (which is my “knee-jerk” reaction), and instead give those things to God, I am always amazed by the outcome. God knows better than I, what to do with all my hopes, sorrows, and worries (of which there are many!) He is infinitely more creative than I, not to mention more powerful. I just have a hard time letting go and opening myself up to God’s direction. I think this book is aptly titled “Acceptance Therapy.” Acceptance doesn’t come as easy as I think it will. My thick-headed stubbornness doesn’t let it. And yet, I still find comfort in thinking that when I Give all to God, God can do so much more with what’s going on in my life than I ever could by myself. How lucky am I? (If I can just get out of my own way)
I am so grateful for the power you have to guide me gently to acceptance of my reality and what you can do with that.
Holy Spirit, remind me to accept what is; accept God’s power to work through my sorrows, my worries and my hopes;
accept the fact that I am not in control of everything that happens, but God’s power and love are limitless.
May I embrace Acceptance and trust in you to give me everything I need and more, and the means to work with the realities of myself and my life.