I want peace.
I don’t mind being uncomfortable but I want peace.
My 3 year old daughter can look so peaceful sitting on the couch watching Dora the Explorer, enjoying a cup of apple juice, or simply sleeping.
I want that internal contentment that rises above my circumstances. As a Dallas Cowboys’ fan that’s a tall order!
So here’s the question: “Is it rational to pursue that kind of peace?” Or, am I setting myself up for disappointment?
We celebrate the Prince of Peace this season but is peace for us in the 21st century realistic?
I know I’ve experienced peace. But I know it is difficult to maintain. Every time it was stolen. I never gave it away.
If we learn to identify the thieves, we can better protect our peace.
Here are 4 common thieves of peace I have experienced:
I don’t know about you but my “phone” is mostly used for texting, emails, social networking, GPS, and accessing the internet. Every once in awhile I’ll actually place a phone call. Disconnecting is harder than ever.
It’s hard to be still and listen. When I hear a “ding” I instinctively check my phone. You know the feeling when you’re in a coffee shop and someone’s iPhone rings and we all check our phone? That seductive marimba ringtone! Ever heard of “FVS: False Vibration Syndrome”? It’s the sensation one gets when he/she feels as if his/her cellphone is ringing/vibrating only to look at the cellphone and discover that there is no such ringtone, and the sensation was a false one.
Jesus’ modeled “getting away to a mountain” from time to time. A “technology fast” is probably the quickest way to peace.
Not being disciplined with our calendar causes us to be in reaction-mode. When I react to other people’s phone calls, voicemails, texts, and emails, people begin to feel like interruptions.
But when I schedule daily reaction/response time it allows me to be accessible while making progress on my “to do” list. Undisciplined schedules are an enemy of peace.
Expressing gratitude is fuel for our own soul. Unexpressed gratitude is perceived ingratitude. Worse than that it steals our personal peace. Part of my weekly “to do” list is writing Thank You cards. I immediately feel refreshed when I take my eyes off of me and express gratitude to others.
Inconsistent time with God
My daily time with God gives me a healthy perspective. It’s easy to feel overwhelmed or have an over-inflated ego. Daily humbling myself is a peaceful exercise. Otherwise, I’m running on my abilities and peace evaporates!
How’s your peace this Christmas? Which of these thieves visit you most often? Have you identified any other thieves?