My colleague Rev. John Rosenberg (director of the Lutheran Educational Network and Support) tells me he thought of me while standing in line for his morning latte recently. The quote of the day at the Java House was from Michel de Montaigne (1533-1592), “Not being able to govern events, I govern myself.” Montaigne’s words are at least as true now as they were 400 years ago. Whether we are facing a traffic jam, a budget deficit, or trying to make sense of the Virginia Tech shootings or the war in Iraq, we are not able to govern events. The one area we have control over is how we respond to the challenges we face, big and small.
I like to say, it’s a matter of shifting from the impossible, controlling others, to the merely difficult, managing myself.