Thursday, September 27, 2007

Choosing Peace Over Insanity

"To give light to them that sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace." Luke 1:79

Wow. That's what Zacharias said his son, John (the Baptist) would be doing when he grew up.

But isn't that what all of us should be doing when we "grow up?" Especially the "guiding people's feet into the way of peace" thing?

The problem, though, is that some of us never quite grow up enough to lead anybody anywhere. Face it-- we cannot take other people where we, ourselves, have not been first.

Trust me--I tried. For, like, twenty years.

I tried to lead people to a more peaceful way of living and then I'd go home and get frustrated to tears because Tom left his dirty dishes beside the recliner (again), Naomi's bedroom looked like Where All The World's Toys Go To Die and the cats threw-up. All of them.

Or I'd go to church and sit there offended out of my mind after a woman (with no children, by choice) turned around and hushed Naomi because she was coloring too loudly--at the same moment I gently tapped her crayon to quiet her.

I'd be nice to people so they'd be nice to me (and then have a cow when they weren't)... I'd take on projects and hobbies because my friends were gifted to do those things (but I wasn't. Hence, more frustration.) I always thought I should be doing more because most sermons I heard made it sound like God would love me more if I did more. But I never seemed to do enough.

Stop me before I go on all afternoon!

Of course, most of you know living that way--if it doesn't kill you--will make you sick. Tired. Sick and tired. Tired and sick. And pathetic.

And it will take you so far away from that daily path of peace that you forget it even exists.

So you know what God did in my case? He made me start all over. All over. Me! Mrs. Good Christian for 23 years. He said it was back to kindergarten for me, for I needed to learn to do things His way.

And His way leads to the path of peace.

My ways? Huh! They lead to those well-worn paths of Frustration... Discouragement... And the one called Repeatedly Hitting Your Head Against A Brick Wall And Expecting It To Move.

And for the past 13 years instead of fighting for what I want, I've learned how to receive from God what I want. To allow Him to delve deeply into my motives. To obey and receive... and to learn to hate my own ways because they never, ever lead my feet to that way of peace.

But His ways lead me there every time--even if they stir things up a bit, shall we say. And that has made all the difference.

"You will keep him in perfect peace,
Whose mind is stayed on You,
Because he trusts in You." ... Isaiah 26:3

"May he turn our hearts to him, to walk in all his ways..." ... I Kings 8:58


Laura said...

Oh I loved this post!! I've been wishing lately that I were in my mid 40's or 50's so I'd have things figured out by now and wishing it didn't take so long to just grow up. I know it happens one day at a time, but since I'm one of those Have To Figure It All Out Now girls, I get antsy and angst-y and peace-less when I struggle with learning the lesson. When I spend another day all wrapped up in the chaos and not a minute resting in His peace.

Great words here and they resounded deeply with me. I feel like I've been starting over these past few years, even though I accepted Christ in my heart as a five year old. I'm back in spiritual kindergarten.

Mel said...

Truly a lovely post. Thank you for the reminder.

Saija said...

good good reminder!
and i love the quote from Isaiah!

blessings on your weekend!

Debra said...

Laura--tee hee... I used to be one of those figure-it-all-out girls, too, but now... I'd rather not know. Most things, anyway. :) I like relaxing and waiting for God to tell me on a need-to-know basis. Well, much of the time, anyway. This moving to another state thing often tempts me to go back to my old ways!
Mel--thanks for dropping by!
Saija--oh, I know... I think of that Isaiah verse so often--because I need it so often! :)
Thanks, Everyone... Debra