when you just want the peace…

Katy's Best Psychic. Come in today for a PEACEFUL tomorrow. 

The billboard is perched above the jazzercise gym like a brightly colored buzzard with PEACEFUL stamped between its respective shoulders. Traffic crawls along below. A bus lumbers across the train tracks. The whole place collectively sighs, there's nothing to see here. It looks up to the psychic billboard and scoffs, but also wonders. A peaceful tomorrow. Just come inside, pay a few bucks, get your peace. Peace while your mind races even while you're stuck in traffic. Peace when you feel only loathing for your body and the jazzercise isn't shaking off the deep seated self consciousness. Peace when you can't pay the tuition, the bills, the rent and they won't pay themselves. Oh, if only peace was for sale. But since it isn't, there are pills for the anxiety and insomnia,  and a screen to numb your mind while also digging the elbow of comparison into your ribs, junk food and strong drink for all the rest and oh look, anthropologie is having a sale. 

How we long for peace. 

wildflowers

Anxiety is what keeps my mind running. Worries about my family and my parenting and my plans for my life as I think it should be. It's the fallen state of imagination, worry is. Rather than wondering at the beauty and power of the things that can't be seen, we instead scrabble away at the worst that might be. Instead of communing with Jesus at the table of our imagination, we welcome worry in through the back door and fret about how God is surely holding out on us. But worrying will protect us from harm, and then we'll have that rascally peace. Right? 

Shalom is a word we've likely all heard, but it's a slippery concept to pin down in the english language. According to Strong's Concordance, it can be defined as completeness, wholeness, health, peace, safety, welfare, soundness, prosperity, rest, harmony, and the absence of agitation or discord. We know what shalom is because we've felt its absence, in that hollow lonely place inside where all the things we're trying to medicate and hide from live.

But, thank God, there is good news. And it's this: 

He Himself is our Peace (Eph 2.14). Our Prince of Peace, our Sar Shalom, says to us, My Peace I give to you (John 14.27). He says, Come all you who are thirsty, come to the waters… Come buy milk and wine without money, without cost (Isa 55.1). Free peace, for you and you and you and all you have to do is ask and open up your hands. What a generous King. 

I'm finding that peace is less like the billboard, and more like the quiet wildflowers growing underneath it, opening new buds to the sun, trusting in the clouds to send rain and in the soil to provide nutrients and in the sun to shine. Yes + amen. 

practice: 

Take a couple minutes to quiet your mind, close your eyes, and receive Jesus' words that He gives His peace to us. I just turn the phrase over in my mind - not analyzing or studying it, but simply believing it. Picture that promised peace running down your head like anointing oil. Do this until you feel His peace in your spirit. I promise it'll save you a couple bucks on a psychic. 

 

twenty four

my darling clementine