It is what it is and it ain’t what it ain’t
It’s life and it’s love and it ain’t gonna change
It’s a beautiful mess
I don’t wanna miss
– Uncle Kracker
I doubt my theology lines up with Uncle Kracker’s, but there’s useful truth here. I keep getting hung up on what’s not instead of leaning into what is. If anxiety comes from unmet expectations, then peace comes with letting go . . . from dealing with what it is instead of grousing about what we wish it was . . . and from being grateful.
Jesus knew how to live the perfect life and He did it. He was in the moment constantly. When I’m like that . . . when I pay attention, I see the good things in addition to the bad. I see chances to help people and when I do, it makes me happy. The other day, I read a story about comedian Jeff Foxworthy. Because he was paying attention in the grocery store, he saw a young mother rifling through her purse looking for enough cash to pay for the food she needed for herself and her kids. Jeff sneaked over and paid for her groceries. Is she still poor? Yes. Is he still rich? Absolutely. But “It is what it is.” Both his life and hers are better because he didn’t just stop with “it is what it is.” He was paying attention. He “didn’t want to miss” it as the song says. He was in the here and now and he did something to help. Not a lot, but something.
Good leaders see reality for what it is right now . . . “Ok, here’s where we are.” They are interpreters for those they lead . . . “And here’s what it means.” But great leaders don’t leave things as they are. “It is what it is” leads them to action. They do something, even if it’s to simply pray and delegate what ‘is’ to our Heavenly Father. They’re never fatalistic or defeatist. They don’t curse the darkness, but they don’t deny it. They light candles and they inspire others to light candles.
One of the most significant moments in my journey happened on a men’s group retreat. My lung capacity had been declining for several years and as we were walking up a hill, I was so winded I had to stop to breathe. I looked around at those guys I love . . . looked up at a beautiful sunset sky and for the first time, thanked God for my lung problem. I said, “Lord, you have blessed me in so, so many ways . . . with these friends, with your peace throughout this decline in my health, and you just used it to stop me in my tracks and remind me how blessed I am. Thank you Father for this lung disease. I love you. I trust you. I give it over to you . . . not my will but yours.” It was a ‘game-changing’ moment.
Don’t let the world and the enemy get you down. Yes . . . “It is what it is.” But that’s the start, not the finish. With God in charge and faith deep in my soul, “It’s a beautiful mess I don’t want to miss.”
Scripture: Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful. (Colossians 3:15)
Mentor Tip: The most powerful ‘voice’ you will ever have is your actions, not your words. Show your guys how you deal with current reality. Share your ‘highlight reel’ of how God has taken you through ‘what is’ and built your faith in Jesus.
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