How to Calm Yourself

 

catawba_falls_1

Catawba Falls

O LORD, my heart is not lifted up; my eyes are not raised too high;
I do not occupy myself with things too great and too marvelous for me.
But I have calmed and quieted my soul, like a weaned child with its mother; like a weaned child is my soul within me.
O Israel, hope in the LORD 
from this time forth and forevermore. (Psalm 131:1-3, ESV) 

In this Psalm, King David (don’t miss that), says there are some things too high for him. And he is the king of Israel! The same is true for you and me. Some things are above our pay grade, beyond our capacity to change.

Steven Covey talks about our circle of influence and circle of concern.

circle

Our circle of influence is what we can directly influence, where we have some control. It’s your own life. Your family. Your workplace. This is where our active energy should be spent. God has sovereignly given you a circle of influence. Exercise influence as God allows and empowers you.

The circle of concern is comprised of things that concern you but you cannot control. Specific to the corona virus, there are many things we cannot control. Italy’s problems are real…but out of our control. What’s happening in NYC or Australia may concern us, but we cannot affect it, or even respond to it.

When you spend your time and energy focused on the circle of concern, you worry instead of work, fret instead of faithfully respond.

David says, “I do not occupy myself with things too great and too marvelous for me.” We shouldn’t either.

“But I have calmed and quieted my soul, like a weaned child with its mother; like a weaned child is my soul within me.” The way to calm is to focus on the circle of influence, not the circle of concern. Here are two practical suggestions:

  • Do what you can in your circle of influence.
  • Pray about the rest. (People in China, Italy…wherever the effect seems to be the worst)

O (McDowell County) hope in the Lord from this time forth and forever more.

 

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