Saturday, February 12, 2011

Growth In Peace

As I think about peace today I turn to the day's headlines which read as follows: 

Egypt Erupts in Jubilation as Mubarak Steps Down

The departure of President Hosni Mubarak was a pivotal turn in a revolt that has upended one of the Arab's world's most enduring dictatorships.
 The above headline does not emote feelings of peace and yet it was something that needed to happen in order to hopefully restore a peaceful future for Egypt.   Please continue to pray for this land and their future leaders.

Here's what Jesus says in the book of Luke 12, verses 22-28.  "Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat;  or about your body;  what you will wear.  Life is more than food, and the body more than clothes.  Consider the ravens:  They do not sow or reap,  they have no storeroom or barn;  yet God feeds them.  And how much more valuable you are than birds!  Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?  Since you can not do this little thing, why do you worry about the rest?  Consider how the lilies grow.  They do not labor or spin.  Yet I tell you, not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these.    If that is how God clothes the grass of the field,  which is here today and then thrown into the fire,  how much more will he clothe you, O you of little faith.?"
Worry is the thief of peace yet we all spend countless hours worrying about things that never happen!
One of my favorite devotional books was written by E. Stanley Jones and is titled, "Growing Spiritually".    In one of his writings on peace he shares this:  "Growth in peace is growth in adjustment, growth in adjustment is growth in maturity of character.  Growth in peace is the acid test of growth.  Peace is not a luxury to be added to life;  it is a sign of a growing life.  Not growing in peace equals not growing in life.  The most splendid flower is the least striving.   Call it effortless assimilation.  The plant receives what is around it (sun, water, soil)  and it grows effortlessly into a beautiful flower.    
Learn to take in, it is the measure of your growth.  The tense do not take in.  They grow by expenditure of energy and struggle.  This is self-defeating!"
I have observed that many people can not thrive effortlessly because they are not in an situation where they can grow.  Like a potentially beautiful plant which is starved of water and sunlight, so is the person who is living in a toxic environment.  

Find a hobby or activity that takes you outside daily.  Pay attention to the little birds, the beautiful flowers,  or the way the leaves on a tree move in the wind.   Spend a quiet morning by yourself, if even for ten or twenty minutes.  Take time to do nothing but think (and maybe) journal. (Sometimes even journaling can become a task to be completed)   Learn to appreciate quiet solitude.  Listen to your heart.  Listen to God.   You will be amazed at what you will discover about effortless times spent alone.
Choose to surround yourself with healthy, peaceful, and positive people.   There is enough turmoil in this world without the added stress of living in an unhealthy situation.   God wants you to find peace and happiness and maybe it's time for you to be courageous and make a change so you can be all He wants you to become!
God is blessing you.