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Length of Days - Search for Freedom

Monday, November 17, 2008


As we watch the transition between the existing political administration and the in-coming one, we are reminded of Abraham Lincoln’s philosophy of “Keep your friends close and your enemies closer.” What does that have to do with the rest of us? This is definitely a “transition” time for everyone. Some have already been downsized out of their jobs, others have had their investments and retirement planes reshuffled, and most of us are trying to live on less and enjoying life more. For people all around us, keeping our friends close may mean enjoying family dinners over eating out or establishing a family game and/or movie night in place of expensive entertainment almost any place else. As a child, my parents, aunts and uncles got together about once a month to play games, enjoy a good argument, and thrive in one another’s company. My cousins were some of my best friends.
Now, keeping your enemies closer means several things to me. Perhaps your enemy is your credit card. Keeping it close means guarding it carefully not letting it escape from your wallet and into a checkout person’s hand and working down the unpaid balance as quickly as possibly. Doubt and fear may also be our enemy. Facing our fears, of personal finances, losing our job, or having to relocate physically or mentally for a career is the first step in overcoming that fear and beginning to work again. Unless we hold it close enough to deal with fear eye to eye, we are helpless to do anything about it. We blindly go about a fantasy of disbelief in the dreaded source of our fear. My husband is a minister and I have detested moving. I finally chose to see our moves as my gift to God, my sacrifice for Him. I willingly chose to do battle with moving no more. Another enemy may be our boss or hated job, an old “friend” whom we have held a grudge against, or even our ex-spouse. Keeping them close means cooperating with them when we can, walking along side them in their struggles, and praying that the very best of God’s blessings fall all around them until His blessings fill their shoes to overflowing. Only when we bless our enemies will we find abundant blessings for ourselves, and in that order, others first, ourselves last. Transition is the stuff of life. Only the flexible survive, whether that be a business or an individual. Only those who take transition as a new adventure, a true gift from and to God, will land safely on the other side. Let us pray:
“Our loving God, who walks through the valley of change with us, ever loving us through difficulties and tragedies, we praise your name, which is above all names. It is with your name that things happen for good. May your kingdom come to dwell in our lives as we make way for your son who said, “The Kingdom of God is at hand.” May your kingdom be at our hand as well. We pray today that you will walk with us through the valley, so clearly that we can see your footprints beside us. May your dear love bless our enemies and turn them into blessings for us each day. When negative things happen and a stumbling bolder blocks our path, let us see your plan in it all, for you have simply found a “better way” for us to walk. We know you are pruning us and preparing us for the journey that lies ahead. We pray that we can let go of our desires and grasp hold of yours. We pray that all illness of body, mind, and spirit may be healed, so that we may be of service to you and those around us. We pray that the words “transition,” “change,” and “enemy” may change to “new beginning,” “opportunity,” and “friend.” Forgive us when our stubborn selfishness, anger, fear, and beliefs of entitlement rob us of our ability to love, for we know that control and love are opposites. When we must control, anyone, everyone including you, we give up our capacity to love. For all of these blessings, we give all praise and honor to you oh God above all. In the precious and healing name of your son, Jesus, we pray. Amen.”

Copyright 2008 Doris Gaines Rapp, Ph.D.
“God gives us stories that testify to His love. Let me tell you mine.”

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