Thy will be done. What an utter acceptance of the loss of control. It takes a courageous, trustworthy individual to even be able to utter those words. It’s a part of the Lord’s prayer I get in a straight up wrestling match with every day. I know what I want, and I know how I think things are going, so when an unlikely event occurs, it’s hard to shrug my shoulders and say, “Oh well, thy will be done.” There’s so much going on in the world. There is so much pain, misunderstanding, misuse of power, and we are all screaming “Listen to me. I am right, and only I am right.” We want so badly for our way to the way, for our opinion to be the way. Let’s face it folks, our opinion will never be the only way. It’s A way, a fraction of all of the ways of the world, and that’s okay. Your way does not need to be everyone’s way. Your way just needs to be the guide for your own life, and the only thing you are truly responsible for >> your actions.
If you’re a religious person like me, than an even bigger level is added >> thy...THY way will be done, not MY way will be done.
I can’t even tell you all of the times that I have thoroughly questioned a time in my life when God just dropped in right in the middle of something I thought I handled and steered me a completely different direction. He didn’t ask me what I wanted, he didn’t give me a nice first class ticket to the next destination. He just plucked me right out of my ‘perfect’ plans and dropped me into a new plan.
Here’s the deal >> those moments that God dropped me unwillingly into a new situation ended up being the most meaningful, impactful moments in my life because ‘thy’ will was being done. It suddenly wasn’t about Marji J. Sherman. It wasn’t about what would propel my agenda for my life, but rather what would propel God’s agenda for life in general. I mean, really, isn’t that a bigger thing to be a part of at the end of the day?
I think a cold hard truth that some of us need to face is that sometimes the phase we are in life is not about us. We are not the star of every chapter. In some scenes of life, we need to play the supporting characters and help another star out. We need to put away our pride and selfish plans and let thy will be done through us.
The world today needs us to be the supporting characters more than ever. It needs us to SUPPORT, love and accept a multitude of opinions. There are stars out there that need us to love them through their storm and do everything we can in our power to make sure their light keeps shining bright. If we keep immediately smacking down everyone else’s opinions and getting into petty Facebook fights, we are not playing the role God needs us to play in life. We are making the world a more hateful place. The path to peace and love is acceptance, not forcing beliefs and opinions on others. There is a way to have a strong opinion, and still love others who disagree. It’s called being human.
Here are five things to try to cross that 'different opinions' bridge:
Understand That You Can Be Friends With People Who Disagree With You
Shocking, isn’t it? You can actually have a healthy friendship with someone that shares a different opinion than you do about important topics. Friendship is ultimately about respect, and the highest form of respect is accepting that others might have a different point of view than you do. Life becomes a lot more dynamic once you let your hair down and understand you can have friends that are not identical twins to you. Also understand that accepting someone else’s opinion does not make your opinion worth any less.
Have An Intelligent Conversation
Seriously, though. Grab a cup of coffee and sort your differences out. Use facts to express your thoughts and explain what experiences you have been through in your life that brought you to your conclusion. Also, LISTEN to the other person. Let them explain how they really feel and why they feel that way. It seems super simple, but my guess is if more people were doing this there would be less Facebook unfriending going on these days.
Learn From Differing Opinions
Open up your mind and let yourself learn through the differences you have with others. Learn more about a different culture, a different political view, a different religion. The more you know about something, and the reason someone believes in it, the more you can accept their beliefs and move on.
If you really want to make your differing opinions water under the bridge, make a pact to donate to the charity of the other person’s choice. They, in return, can donate to a charity of your choice.
Change The Topic
You do not have to focus all of your energy on one thing that you disagree on, even if that ‘thing’ is massive in your mind. You have just as much control over the conversation as the other person. Ask about their relationship, their family, their kids, their work. Talk about the many other parts of the person, instead of focusing on the one thing you disagree with. Granted, on social media you cannot necessarily control their conversation, but you can unfollow their posts on Facebook and still remain friends and check in on them from time to time.
I am begging you, try at least one thing on this list before rapid firing the ‘unfriend’ button on Facebook. Let’s let thy will be done, and love others in the process. We are humans after all, and we owe it to humanity to support each other through all of our millions of differences.
- Marji J. Sherman