If clouds are full of water, they pour rain upon the earth. Whether a tree falls to the south or to the north, in the place where it falls, there will it lie. –Ecclesiastes 11:3
After living in England for a year, I was finally flying home. I decided to standby for an earlier flight from Heathrow to Los Angeles. I presented my standby request to the gate representative and watched as the room began to fill with other passengers.
After an hour, they began boarding the plane and calling standby passengers to board. I watched as not just one, but a dozen people were called ahead of me. The room was nearly empty and the flight was loaded. About five minutes before the gate was to close, my name was called. A huge wave of relief rushed over me. I was onboard.
What frustrates me, though, is that I spent probably 24 hours stressing over whether or not I would get on this flight. As a result, I was short with my husband as he helped me pack. I was rude to the taxi driver because I was stressed and in a hurry.
Perhaps you have areas you stress about, get angry over and worry about that you have absolutely no control over as well. Whether a cancelled or delayed flight, a rainstorm when you planned an outdoor event, waiting in line at the checkout counter, a restaurant not serving you as quickly as you would like, or something else. Solomon understood that there was much in life that was out of his control. If the clouds are full of water, then it will rain. If they’re not, it won’t. If they have a seat, I will get on the flight. If they don’t, I won’t.
It is easy to get caught up in the moment and panic as you try to control everything going on around you. But, there is great wisdom in what Solomon is saying. Sometimes you just have to go with the flow. So much of life is out of our control. What we can control is how we react. Will we be short with a waiter because our food isn’t perfect, or will we kindly explain our need? Will we be rude to others because our flight has been cancelled, or will we be able to take a deep breath and remember that where a tree falls, it falls?
1. What areas in your life get you the most out of sorts and cause you to stress over or react negatively to situations you can’t control?
2. What can you do ahead of time to help make sure you react in a way God would want you to?
Ecclesiastes 11:1-5; Philippians 2:5; 1 Peter 3:8