Staring Down the List and Finding Peace


Jolly Hormillosa // Tales From the Trenches

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July 2  

I have to confess, I go looking for the heavenly virtue of peace in the tangible confines of my little earthly home. It sounds silly when I spell it out . . . but I must admit it. I make mental and physical lists of things that need to be done in hopes that order will fulfill my need for inward calm. I furrow my brow and make a list for the boys’ room. Then the lists of what needs to be packed, sorted, stored, filed, purged, and updated. Then there is the list of items necessary to check off before the baby comes. I mean, if I have certain items accomplished, we will all be ready for the impending change (coming), right?

If only I could get my small army to spend more time organizing and less time decimating. I seek order and control to such a degree that I begin to place my hopes and beliefs in achievement, thinking this will bring peace in my innermost being. Then I would rest and relax. I can be heard muttering, “I just need a little peace people!” Yet, there is a gravitational pull; it seems that on the days when I insist on the achievement of my said goals,  more items crop up to add to the list. In a strange paradox, the harder I demand and press for my headstrong agenda, the less peace I experience! 

The Holy Spirit gently presses in―more wise than my own human understanding. The more I come to look for peace in the person who is the prince of peace, Jesus, the more I embrace the reality that he lives within me. Rather than analyzing and commiserating over lists, and fixating on my expectation of others, I am called to practice this awareness of his presence even (and especially!) while going about my household work. The Holy Spirit will help me tackle what is necessary and ordained for today. The grace of secure peace rises in direct correlation to my inward turning toward his presence.

Do not deceive yourselves. If any of you think you are wise by the standards of this age, you should become “fools” so that you may become wise (1 Cor 3:18).

And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus (Philippians 4:7).

You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on you (Isaiah 26:3).

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