At the Orange Conference in April, speaker Bob Goff said that his least favorite word is "can't." (His favorite word is "whimsy," by the way.)
Oddly, I have been liberated by the word "can't." It has taken me a long time to realize what I can't do. I can't make people make the right decisions. I can't make people show up at church. I can't produce spiritual work. I can't manufacture anything of spiritual value. I can't know everything. I can't make people like me.
I have tried for decades to do all of those things. Only God can do spiritual work of eternal value. I can cooperate with him while he does it, but I cannot make it happen myself.
Once I work through the can't, I get to the can. I can be free. I can stop beating myself up for failing to produce what only God can do. I can cooperate with him. I can be obedient, and watch God work. I can find real joy. I can let go. I can stop bearing the weight of the world on my shoulders.
I can be bold. I can take risks. I can fail. I can have fun. I can succeed. I can take the next step in my journey with Jesus. I really can, when I stop trying to do what I can't.
Deep breaths. Deep breaths. Feels good!