But you must return to your God; maintain love and justice, and wait for your God always. -Hosea 12:6
The prophet Hosea has been lamenting all of the ways that people are losing their minds and running after false gods in his world. Then he turns from his holy complaint to speak a message from God to those who will listen. But you, he says, you return to God, keep going with love and justice, and keep waiting on God.
So often I worry about things I have no control over. Meanwhile, I miss paying attention to the things that I do have control over! Peace comes to us when we are able to understand what is ours to do and what is not. As for you, Hosea says, here’s what you’re responsible for: turn to God, love, do the right thing, and trust God is coming to help you.
Take a deep breath and let go of what you cannot control. Now, pay attention to what you can do- take care of your influence in this world, which will go a long way towards peace for the rest of us too. Farther than you think!
Pray: Lord, give me the serenity
to accept the things I cannot change;
courage to change the things I can;
and wisdom to know the difference. (R. Niebuhr)
Observe a crowded scene with your kids. Ask them to notice the expressions on people’s faces and all of the sounds a crowd makes. Then take three deep breaths. Can you be calm in a crowd? Can you just be responsible for you? Good practice for all of us!