Entries in peace (4)
It is has been quite a journey to discover what brings me joy. I have sought it out in places that I was sure would fulfill me. However, when all was said and done I realized I still felt empty. My various activities made me complacent for a short time, but nothing stuck. Not only that, but my emotional range was in direct relation to the events in my life. I have realized over time that it is not so much “what” I do but “how” I do it. Am I seeing the silver lining? Am I allowing space for grace and forgiveness? Am I controlling the situation or is the situation controlling me?
In saying this, true joy comes from the Lord, which brings a peace that passes all understanding. I have found that even in the midst of a defeating day I am better off to force myself to think of things which I am grateful for, no matter how insignificant they may seem. Coupled with the peace that the Lord promises, I am able to restructure my thinking which gives me a different perspective, thus changing how I react to the tough events. Don’t get me wrong there have been days that I wallowed in the things that brought me grief. I allowed myself to get wrapped up in the details of it all, which only increased my pain and frustration. In the end the only thing I accomplished was increasing the number of days that I was negatively affected by the event.
Do not allow outside circumstances to steal your joy or peace. You may not be in control of things that happen to you, but you are the only one who can control how you will handle them.
We live in a world with pain; intense, distant pain of senseless tragedy and heartache. Pain so close it can eat at our soul. We long for safety. We hope for a place to rest.
Pain in the deepest parts of ourselves. We all know it. We all manage it. Or deny it and run as fast as we can. Oh, the things we do with pain.
Pain in those closest to you. Why do we trample over those we love? We diminish their pain because we don’t know how to fix it.
And most times we can’t fix their pain. So we distance ourselves.
Pain in the world. Overwhelming. We either crumble or close our eyes.
So, I say to you:
~ Don’t walk alone.
~ Pay attention - Hear what pain is whispering to you.
~ Rest and Breathe - Sometimes it is too much.
~ Be gentle - Walk slowly and safely into pain. You are on sacred ground.
“Behind every beautiful thing, there's some kind of pain.” ― Bob Dylan
“We are healed of a suffering only by experiencing it to the full.” ― Marcel Proust
Twas' two days after Christmas and all through the house, all people were moving including the mouse. Exchanges were made and thank you's were said in hopes of avoiding a mess.
Hurt feelings were spared and graciousness shared all for the sake of the cause.
The cause is of peace and peace is of God so let the season of peace rest in your heart.
Christmas is less than a week away and I’m already looking beyond the holiday to the year ahead. Clients of mine have been through very rough sledding this last year, due in part to the perilous economic times we live in. Jobs are in short supply, and good jobs seem to be almost non-existent. However, Christmas provides a good environment for perspective. The man Jesus came to this earth in dire economic times, to a family extremely poor with no hope of any dramatic improvement in their circumstances. He was born in a stable… with neither position nor influence that would allow them to enjoy anything close to being in an adequate environment for the birth of a child. And his life after he was born was immediately in danger from a madman who governed the land in which he was born. Perilous times indeed!
But the Good News of Christ’s birth still speaks to our hearts even two millennia after the actual event. Out of desperation comes hope; out of discouragement comes wonder; and out of confusion comes wisdom. Regardless of your circumstances this Christmas season, Jesus still provides us with perspective. He still calls us to a life of faith, hope, and love, and His birth is the most poignant reminder of God’s overwhelming love for us. And, all believers still exclaim along with the Apostle Peter, “Where else can we go? You have the words of eternal life!” So here’s to a Christmas where our thoughts are turned from ourselves and our own personal problems and predicaments, to the recounting of God’s blessings and a view ahead to the hope He alone can give us. May you enjoy a Christmas with a view to eternity, and be reminded not only of the wisdom of Jesus, but also of the loving sacrifice He was for us all. Merry Christmas!