The Bus Stop is a series of true stories about my life, people I've worked with and events I've experienced. Of course the names have been changed. I hope these stories will brighten your day with a few laughs as well as give you encouragement. Hopefully you can avoid making some of the mistakes I've made and if you have already made them, then you can identify with me.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

The Circle

Several years ago I watched the movie Zorro with Anthony Hopkins and Antonio Banderas. Hopkins, the mentor and Banderas, the student. Banderas was young and angry wanting vengeance for his brother’s murder. Meanwhile Hopkins trained his student to become the new Zorro. The training area was within a circle, and as bad as Banderas wanted to go and find his enemy, Hopkins reassured him that his enemy would come into his circle in time. He needed to wait and be patient.

Many times I have tried so hard to venture outside my circle. I’m not talking about vengeance, but overloading myself with responsibilities or even meaningful desires that were not mine or possibly wasn’t mine for the time being. I’m not talking about moving outside your comfort zone, this is entirely another circle. What I am speaking of falls under responsibilities not our comfort zone. Much of the stress I took on myself was needless. I worried over so many things from the future, present and even the past. These were things out of my control or not within my circle. I remember, for example, some were devastated when they found out the life span of the sun may only last for another billion years.

I’ve worried about such a different array of the things from gas prices to what’s going to happen with my boys. Worrying, I believe, is another word for “borrowing trouble”. We have enough trouble and hardship in this life without having to go look for it. It will come to us in its own time, if it really exists. Most of the things I’ve worried about never even happened except in my own imagination. (Matthew 6:27 (NIV) Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?)

So what ARE we responsible for? Remembering, you are only responsible for yourself, (except for your small children), but you do have a responsibility TO others.

  • What others?
  • Why?
  • What are we supposed to get involved in?
  • Do we go out looking for people to help and rescue?

We must wait patiently, and soon the ones God has for us will come into our circle. Be still before the LORD and wait patiently for him. Psalm 37:7a This circle may only extend 10 feet from you at this time and may expand and contract. The point is, do you reach out to those in your circle or do they go by unnoticed? It is usually simple to bless those in our own circle. Just bending over to pick something up for them, or offering a kind word or greeting or even paying for something they do not have the funds for. It could be anything, the possibilities are endless.

For the most part we would rather reach outside our circle to find things we can’t do anything about and worry and complain about those things. Could you really fix these things? Could you really change them? Can you even handle it at this time in your life?

It reminds me of the Serenity Prayer which reads:

God grant me the serenity
to accept the things I cannot change;
courage to change the things I can;
and wisdom to know the difference.

What is really in our own circle that we need to look at that is being neglected by going beyond it and worrying about the things we can do nothing about?

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