I want to be a person who is always at peace inside.
I’m getting better, but I’m not there yet. Until then, I would rather be a person who handles stress by cleaning and organizing. At least there would be slightly less chaos at the end of the day. When I am in the throes of useless obsession about a problem, I can step over mounds of rubble and not even notice. When the problem is resolved I am knee-deep in another one of my own making. It’s probably symbolic of the uselessness of worry.
People who clean obsessively are trying to find a measure of control in an atmosphere where things appear to be out of control. People who mull a problem over and over and over in their minds (aka worry) are doing the same thing, of course. We want to understand the eternal repercussions of every decision, every move toward the heights. We want a sense of certainty in the fog of unknowns.
Here’s the thing about change: It’s messy, and disorienting.
I finally got around to cleaning out some closets – but first I had to pull everything out and dump it on the floor and the bed. There was stuff in the back corners I don’t even remember putting there. (And since I haven’t missed it in five years it seemed like a good opportunity to bless the thrift shop.) But for a while the room looked like an episode of a hoarders TV show – piles of essentials and distractions and embarrassment and potential and memories all heaped together.
That’s what my life feels like this week.
Some people who choose to pursue God with all their hearts get the holy cuddles and effervescent joy special. Some of us get thrown into the lake.
What? But, Lord, I thought I would get what she was getting. I wanted kindergarten happy-happy free-play time. I got “let’s get serious.” I can’t touch the bottom! I’m drowning!
No you’re not!
I won’t let you drown, but you’re going to be miserable if you don’t get out of that stroller and kick the feet I gave you. I want to take you out swimming in the deep end with me, but I can’t if you don’t start using what you already have. Now kick your feet – and use your arms. That’s what they’re there for.
The fruit of the Spirit, like the Holy Spirit is already in you because I am in you. It’s my fruit, my character. But the peace I bring you won’t do any good unless you pick it up and use it.
These circumstances are not just an attack of the devil to show you how much he hates you and wants to hinder you (although he does). They are meant to cause you to dig deeper, to lean harder on Me to discover the resources already placed within you – stuff you have never even taken out for a spin yet.
How does this peace thing work? Ask Me – I’ll show you.
And here’s some chaos to practise on.