Sometimes the way I seem to other people- organized, systematic in getting things done, even-tempered- does not at all match how I feel on the inside. Often on the inside I can be feeling pressured, stressed, and a little bit panicked about keeping all of the plates spinning in the air. There is so much involved in keeping things running smoothly, both at home and at work. It might look smooth, but in my heart it is anything but.This is something that I am working on and needing to remind myself about every day. (Jennifer Dukes Lee’s new book, It’s all Under Control, is a great resource for this!)
I long for the peace of a quiet spirit, but it often seems unreachable to me. I was reading in Colossians 3 about all of the things we need to take off, and all of the things we need to put on as Christians. This one little chapter is filled with so much, I feel like I could just keep reading and always see something new.
Take off: uncleanness, idolatry, anger, wrath, malice- just for starters. Put on: mercy, kindness, humbleness, forgiveness.
Colossians 3 can easily be a guide to How to Live a Christian Life 101.
So, how do I get from reading this in my Bible to applying it to my daily living? Where is that quiet spirit?
“And let the peace of Christ, to which you were also called in one body, to rule your hearts. And be thankful.” Col.3:15
I think we get there by beginning again, over and over again, minute by minute. We get there by practice, a continual declaration from our hearts to trust the Lord, over and over again. The second word in that verse- LET- reminds me that I need to let my guard down, let all my striving settle, and LET that peace from Christ settle on me. If we are rushing, with all our defenses and agenda on high, that peace of a quiet spirit seems unreachable. This doesn’t feel natural at first, but later…it becomes the safest, most quiet place to be.
And those last three little words, tacked onto the end of the verse? And be thankful. They really aren’t an afterthought, but sometimes when I read it’s easy to miss those few little words tucked here and there. I practice surrendering my schedule, my to-do’s and my frantic plate spinning for “God, what would you have for me today?” and I follow that with thankfulness for all He has given me and all that He is doing.
Quiet in our lives isn’t the absence of stress, but it is quiet confidence in the strength we have in Jesus.
Breathe and Begin Again,