I just named my new office at the Blessing House, “The Patience Training Center” and have removed the f-word, “frustration,” from my vocabulary. I have chosen a new swear word, that works better than any of the others … it is “O Joy.” And these three changes have improved the environment in which I work. The atmosphere of joy and patience is a powerful breath of fresh air that revives the soul and sets the affairs of the Blessing House in order.
Many have tried to do this with the common phrase, “Don’t worry. It’ll be alright.” Oh, for the nickel paid for each time I have heard that! Immediately I must retort, “Don’t worry, I’m not worried, I am just frustrated.” Now I have a double negative to overcome — worry and frustration. It does not help to say, “Don’t worry,” because then I must agree with a negative.
This circle of exchange happens all the time and it never sets me at rest, only increases the pressure of anxiety because, now, I am working in an environment charged with negative energy. I need a change of perspective for the circumstances around computers, data bases, phone issues and missed deadlines are not going to change..
Someone once said to me, “If the way you are thinking isn’t working for you, change your thinking.” Perspective is everything and nothing changes if nothing changes.
I need a thought that is higher and greater … a reference I can rely on other than people’s opinions. I am learning that for me the perspective of the Word of God trumps everything else. What if those daily things that “frustrated” me were actually opportunities to practice patience and hope. Those two qualities when established can actually energize one. For the Eternal Word says, God “is able to make all things work together for good for those called according to His purposes …” and “Let patience have her perfect work, that you may be perfect and entire wanting nothing.” Since all things are working together for my good and patience is doing her work, I can say “O joy!” to whatever I face each day.
In our world, it is hard not to worry, be frustrated or angry. There is a witness to that every newscast lately when frustration explodes in gunpowder. “Don’t worry!” as if …. The whole world system supports, reports and imports frustration, anger, bitterness, and offense into our lives.
To get out of that system is hard … but to stay in that system of thought is deadly because disease and death is rooted in that system. I have learned that with the perspective of the Scriptures I am able to take the events and people of each day and cause them to work for my good just by aligning myself with “greater truths” from which life flows.
I challenge you to change your perspective, rename your place of work, and express your opinion with the response, “O joy!” … Oh yeah and stop telling people, “don’t worry!”
The Rev. Gail Berger is the president / executive director of The Blessing House in Victoria.