The tendency with humans is to force stuff.

We force our spoons into our mouths, our expenses into our budgets, our bodies into our jeans and our ways, our opinions and our solutions onto the people we live with.

Push, push, push. Force, force, force!

But people don’t like it.

Psalm 131 offers a good alternative.

God, I’m not trying to rule the roost,
I don’t want to be king of the mountain.
I haven’t meddled where I have no business
or fantasized grandiose plans.
2 I’ve kept my feet on the ground,
I’ve cultivated a quiet heart.
Like a baby content in its mother’s arms,
my soul is a baby content.
3 Wait, Israel, for God. Wait with hope.
Hope now; hope always!

Not ruling the roost, not meddling where we aren’t wanted, not fantasizing about what we want that will never happen (and even shouldn’t happen), not flying away from reality — it’s best. We would do well if we attempted to control less.

The child content, with its mother, not with its mother to get something, but just content with her, calm, secure — that is the model of the soothed soul before God.

To just accept people, without trying to control them, would bring more peace to us and them.

And to calm down our discontent by placing our hope in what God will bring in his time and way — that’s what it means to have a quiet heart.

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