Attaining peace proves to be a challenge now days. The lists of things to do keeps growing. Accomplishing more in a day has become an equivalent of success and acceptance. Feelings of importance and not measuring up fluctuate based on the number of checkmarks on our “To Do” lists. Unfortunately such madness does not bring fulfillment instead it creates a ceaseless vacuum. Regardless of how much we accomplish or not it always adds to the pressure of doing even more. I don’t know about you but if by some miracle I’ve completed all that was on my “To Do” list I get the crazy notion that it's finally time to move on to the next level of efficiency and proficiency – accomplishing more in the same span of time. On the other hand not completing all that was on my list brings feelings of discontent, which in return fuels the desire to “shape up” and accomplish more next time.
This kind of thinking and behavior is encouraged by the society we live in. It seems no one stops to ask the questions: Why the rush? Is it really beneficial? Is it fruitful? No wonder there is such lack of peace in our hearts and homes.
So what do we do? First and foremost we must put our hope and identity in the Lord and not in our accomplishments or lack of such. It is a process not an overnight shift in thinking.
“Yes, Lord, let Your constant love surround us, for our hopes are in You alone.” Ps. 33:22
Next I will share with you my five step peace finder:
Pause – stop the madness. Schedule an hour/once a week to just be. If an hour is not an option take small 5 -10 minutes/day breaks (hide in the powder room if you must). Here is what to do when in Pause:
Exhale – let the tension go. Breathe! Slowly! That will physically calm your anxious hearth and mind.
Agree with God’s word. Even five minutes in His word can change the course of our day, the way we make decisions and focus on what truly matters. Take His word over what the world shoves in our faces as “truth”.
Content – accept what we have and don’t have. We are right where God wants us to be. It may feel tight and uncomfortable; it may be painful and heart wrenching, but is all part of His plan. “Shall we indeed accept good from God and not accept adversity?” Job 2:10 It is up to us to find the joy and pride in what God has entrusted us with. Mrs. Jones has her own faith journey, can’t compare with her. With two toddlers hanging on each knee and a steering spoon dripping sauce all over the floor - it will be irrational to compare with Miss Smith who is single and has found fulfillment in other things.
Encourage someone else. Shift the focus from ourselves towards others. The joy of encouraging someone else is unsurpassed. Jesus did it all the time.
Dear Lord, grant me the wisdom to know when it's time to pause, be content with the gifts You’ve given me, trust Your choice for this season of my life, and be an encouragement to someone else in need of the hope only You can give. In Jesus’ mighty name I pray, Amen.
You both precede and follow me. You place Your hand of blessing on my head. Such knowledge is too wonderful for me, too great for me to know! Ps 139:5-6
Walk with God and glorify His name.
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