Oops I lost my peace…
I’ve got this principle that the sooner you look for something after you’ve lost it the easier it is to find it. You can retrace your steps easier because you actually remember where you were the last time you had it.
The kingdom of heaven is righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit (Romans 14:17). This is a ringer of a verse and a great candidate for Greek word studies. Often righteousness gets minimized down to moral behavior rather than a larger picture of restoration to where things on earth are aligned with how they are in heaven. Peace, well that’s the thing I want to talk about that I keep losing. And joy, oh joy, sweet joy. I love joy. It’s key to so much in the way God operates, but in everyday life can be elusive at times. And all of this is ‘in the Holy Spirit’. In God’s presence…
Losing things is a daily, if not hourly reality of life in our house. Just take the twenty minutes required every time we leave to go anywhere as a family, primarily spent looking for shoes, ‘deedees’, ‘neenees’ and Winne the Pooh (special/comfort blankets) and recently every kid’s Seahawks hat. I have seriously considered getting 3-4 pairs of each of these items to increase the odds of finding them. Although inevitably three left shoes will not turn into a right.
Over years of doing this you become naturally more sensitive to keeping track of certain things. If I’m walking around the house and notice a shoe behind the toilet for example I stop to grab it and put it somewhere closer to a door for when we’ll need it. And like those classic matching memory games, I’ll keep a mental map in my head of where I last saw things in preparation for the recurring question, “Dad, where is my….?”.
“The same place you last left it.”
“Can you find it for me?”
All this applies to when I lose my peace. The peace the Father has given me through Jesus by the Spirit. There is a mystery to this peace, in that it transcends all understanding (Phil 4:6-8). It’s a real presence, an actual substance that can be even be felt and interacted with and given away to others. It can actually rest on us. It creates a mindset or perspective toward ourselves, others and our circumstances, cultivating wonderful emotions or feelings which flow from this mindset/perspective. It is also creates a reality of unity, alignment, a shalom, where there is not conflict, bitterness, war, unforgiveness, etc in relationships between people, with God and even in nature/creation. This word resonates at a personal, inter-personal, social, national and international level. All that to say there is a lot to it and it is powerful stuff.
And this peace, well, sometimes I lose it…sometimes a lot of times. I’ve even gone through seasons in my life where I’ve so lost it I just live life functionally without it. Not fun…for me or for others around me, particularly those dependent on me.
Recently I notice pretty quickly when I’ve lost it. It’s been a bit more like walking around without pants on…I can only get so far without my peace on before things get awkward. And that old principle rings true: the sooner you look for something you lost the easier it is to find it.
So, I’m going through my day and something happens and I lose my peace. I start seeing/hearing, interpreting and reacting to things through a perspective different than God’s. I quickly replace this peace from heaven with fear, which leads to control, which usually involves moving quicker in my actions and my thoughts, treating myself and others with less love and making dumber decisions. Anger starts popping out at others, served up on a platter of ‘shoulds’. Nobody really likes getting ‘should’ on, so I create ample opportunities for others to lose their peace. And then somewhere in the midst of it I look down (or at my thoughts, actions, how my body is feeling, what’s happening around me) and notice I don’t have my peace on. Ah, if only it was as socially unacceptable to walk around without peace as it is without your pants.
So, I retrace my steps, which usually means my thoughts and try to find where I left my peace. I usually find it without too much trouble. Inevitably something happened or an interaction with someone or just some memory or thought and I lose my peace. Sometimes I have to look around quite of few corners I turned and decisions I made and look under multiple things my peace got buried under. And often while I’m looking I say out loud, in my head, where I know God can hear me, “Dad where’s my peace? I lost it.” “Can you find it for me?” And we’ll go looking for it together.