Friday, July 20, 2012

Struggle versus Serenity

If you ever saw the wonderful movie "Catch Me if You Can," you may remember the father of Leonardo DiCaprio 's character, played by Christopher Walken.  The character was a colorful one, given to prose and glib speech.  In one scene (or it may be many, where he repeats the story-my memory is somewhat fuzzy on this...), he gives a speech. Here is how it goes:

"Two little mice fell in a bucket of cream. The first mouse quickly gave up and drowned. The second mouse, wouldn't quit. He struggled so hard that eventually he churned that cream into butter and crawled out. Gentlemen, as of this moment, I am that second mouse."

Great story, right?!  Who doesn't want to be that "second mouse"?  Tenacity and perseverance in the midst of danger and difficulty are certainly characteristics we want to display.

But perhaps an even better character trait to have is one of discernment.  Quitting is often thought of as a purely negative thing, but is this always the case?  

Imagine a mouse in quicksand.  The same amount of struggle for this mouse will result in sinking and drowning.  The best bet for a mouse in quicksand is to sit still, stop struggling, and wait for rescue.  Easier said than done, though, right?  I know that when I find myself in a pickle, my first response is to use my wits and tenacity to extricate myself. Sometimes this is a good strategy, and other times is is counterproductive. 

So, how does one know which strategy to employ?

The answer lies first in our ability to surrender the struggle over to The One who will rescue us in His way and in His time for His glory; second, in asking for the the wisdom to discern whether or not you are in cream or quicksand; and third, in trusting that if we are obedient to His will and let love be our guide, that we will find the contentment, serenity, safety and shalom that only He offers.

Sounds just like a prayer we have all heard before...

Here is the full text:

Today my prayer for you and I is that God gives us

the wisdom to know the the difference...