I wanted to write a bit to balance out something I said before.  In my last entry, I exaggerated an idea to make a point, and that idea was that “I have done so many good things.  I perform so well and so much.”  This mentality was useful for making a point, but it’s not a true representation of how I think.

I can’t take credit for all the good things in my life.  I didn’t choose to be born in this era, to the American culture, or to parents who loved me, but all these things happened.  Thanks be to God.

I couldn’t control my genetics, or plan to always be pretty healthy and relatively good looking.  Yet I am healthy and I hear that I’m good looking.  Thanks be to God.

I couldn’t control my early education, or choose that I would generally be smart and good at school.  Yet my early education was good and included basic household tasks.  And I was always good at school.  Thanks be to God.

I couldn’t control the flow of tragedy and trauma through my life.  Yet I have experienced very little tragedy.  I have some trauma…everybody has some trauma…but mine has not been debilitating.  This, again, I could not control.  Thanks be to God.

When I got older, I had some choices I made about my personality and the type of person I wanted to be and become.  Even still, I could not control who would respond to me, be attracted to me, like me, want to be friends with me.  Yet I am surrounded by friends in several cities and multiple circles.  Thanks be to God.

Further, I have no control over how people will respond when I make myself vulnerable and show them my dark sides.  Yet I have always been surrounded by people who respond to my darkness with compassion and understanding.  Thanks be to God.

I had a choice about which university I would attend and what I would study.  But I could not control the job market or predict that I would land in the job that I have so soon after graduating.  Thanks be to God.

There’s more.  Many many more things that are good in my life.  I feel like I have to work really hard all the time and put lots of energy into making a good life for myself.  But I acknowledge that God is the source of all things.  If God does not visibly drop something in my lap(remind me to tell the story of my last semester’s tuition sometime) then He equips me with the skills and resources and strengths to achieve what I need.

In my last blog, I called myself a high-performance person.  And I am.  I work hard.  I perform.  I do good things.  But I would not be writing the truth to say that all that good came from me alone.  I am who I am and I have what I have because God is merciful to me.

And this, too, is the way of peace.  To recognize the Source of all things.  To recognize that relationships and dreams and work and play and skills and education and food and water and shelter and light and dark and breath and life are all gifts from God.  Every day that my eyes greet the sun is a gift from God.

The way of peace is to be mindful of the Source of all things and to cultivate an active gratitude.

May God’s mercies never end, for they have surely already begun.  May we see God in all that we do, in all the little moments, in all occurrences of beauty, and even all occurrences of pain.  May God’s peace shape how we perceive the world and all that it contains…