There’s an exhausting feeling of waking up realizing your “Want To Do List” has merged into your “Have To Do List” of which both have become today’s “Must Do List.” You try to talk yourself down on the ledge and put some priorities in place and you realize you don’t have enough time or people or energy or clear directions to give other people to make it all happen. Pretty soon that moment of zen peace when you first wake up is gone and you feel yourself falling in full fledged anxiety. You continue the self talk of telling yourself to not lie their in stress and anxiety. To get up , get the coffee going, go exercise, complete your devotional and things will fall into place after that. Then you realize it’s raining, again, and though you live nowhere near Seattle it’s going to keep raining for days. You contemplate exercising in the basement but the stacks of laundry and strewn toys in the play room will not return peace.
So you step out into the rain and try to breathe. You take one step off the patio to start your run when you realize all you really want to do is breathe. And you want peace. And you don’t want to have to go anywhere in this moment. Next thing you know you’re raising your hands to the sky, feeling the soft rain on your face and you start to focus on one breath in and one breath out. You think about how this yoga thing is suppose to be about restoring peace. And you think about how you find peace in letting go in prayer.
The Lord give peace to his children, the Lord blesses his children with peace
And you think how there is no peace in your city. And you are worried about how that unrest will affect children, the children you want to care for, and those who are peace keepers and you feel your breath taken from you again.
Turn from evil and do good, see peace and pursue it
You think about how yoga can seem like a fluffy hippie activity to do until you realize your arm is shaking as you try to hold a pose. You realize you can overcome and find more strength to stand firm, to breathe through the pain and you kind of laugh at yourself that you are doing this in the dark of dawn. How would things change if you were in sunlight for all the neighbors to see you in Downward Dog or Warrior pose.
Blessed are the peacemakers.
As you lift both arms extended high above you standing and calm and strong and composed you think of how you cannot be a part of negative dissension. You think of how the concepts of direct honesty are separate from acts of disunity. You think about you can have your own sharp tongue and frequently have to pull yourself back from coming out fighting. That is not always peaceful. But threatening people who say they come for peace but are tearing apart communities and families and putting children in harms way, these are the things you cannot accept.
God is not the God of disorder but peace
You think how can you speak out about the disorder while promoting peace. Do The violent, the rabble rousers, the hate-filled, the riot mentality listen to peace? Do they listen without reaching a whole new level of hatred? You cannot force peace. It has to be accepted. It has to be valued and embraced.
Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
As you wrap up your workout, you feel the healthy blood pumping through all of you, you feel refreshed and renewed by oxygen and rain. You have not solved the world’s problem or your own community’s pain but you decide you will not add fuel to the fire. You will do what you can to pray peace, promote peace, spread peace, be at peace with this life.
Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace.