Practicing Peace

Teacher friends, close your ears.   Ok….everybody else ready?  Good.

I go back to work in less than a month.  Wow.  

Ok, you can open them again!

This morning it dawned on me that it wasn’t going to be summer forever.  I realized all of a sudden that I had to start tackling some of the tasks on my growing to-do list before it was too late.  And as soon as I made that realization, I started to feel that panicky feeling in my chest that I haven’t missed one bit in these last few weeks.

Get a new Social Security card for Chica.  Schedule doctor and dentist appointments.  Order agendas for school.  Figure out childcare for the first week back to work.  Shop for school supplies.  Start planning for the first month.  And on.  And on.  And on.

As I finished breakfast and wondered to myself if I could afford one more day of putting off my list, Jay must have asked me three times if I was okay.

Yes.  I’m fine.  This is just panic mode in mute.

This all got me thinking about the new peace that I’ve been feeling and practicing and living this summer.  I really want to believe that this peace is a result of setting my heart and mind on things above, and not just a welcomed side effect of being off of work for a month.  I want to believe that Jesus is changing me into a peaceful person, a person that deliberately chooses calm and grace over panic and hurry.  Maybe most of all, I want to believe that something will be different when I go back to work.

I heard a speaker talk this week about sin.  In his section about the ways we can remedy sin and its power to harden our hearts, he pointed out some more peace verses in Philippians 4.  He suggested that in response to anxiousness we are to pray, be thankful, and think about those things that are Godly.  And here was the interesting part that he added:

The best time to practice this is when you are in the middle of it.  The second best time to practice this is when you are not in the middle of it.

So what does that mean for me?  It means that this coming month is like a dress rehearsal before opening night.  Like a scrimmage before the season opener.  Like behind the wheel before hitting the road alone.  But the real test of my his peace will come a month from now.  When I’m sending my big girl off to kindergarten at a new school, and Bubba cries when I drop him off at daycare, and I still have 47 things to do to be ready for my class of 26.  Oh, and don’t forget the laundry and the dishes and who knows….maybe moving to a new house??  Yep….it’s then I’ll know if this peace is really rooted in a changed heart or just a sparse calendar.

I once co-directed a school play.  Talk about anxiousness…but that’s a story for another day.  Anyway, after a long rehearsal, I would sit down with all my little actors and actresses and give them notes from that day’s practice.  This person missed their line, let’s change this light cue, somebody needs to go find that missing prop, etc.   And occasionally (yep…I was probably a little too harsh most of the time) I gave a few positive remarks too.  We could finally hear this girl’s lines, or thanks for hitting that music cue right on time.  The point always being that they would keep the good stuff and change the bad stuff when the real thing came along.

So this whole practicing peace idea got me thinking about a few quick notes from today’s “rehearsal”:

  • Good:  Getting started on “the list” early this morning instead of just continuing to worry about it.
  • Bad:  Screaming at Chica after she asked me for help while we were trying to get out of the house on time for swimming lessons.
  • Good:  Keeping way calm during another stretch of maybe-I-should-pull-over rain.
  • Bad:  Continuing to worry (even now, as I write this) about things that I just can’t change.

Keep the good.  Jesus, change the bad.

P.S.  Ask me in a month about peace, ok?

Image:  40+251 Done-ish © Bark  | Flickr Creative Commons




One thought on “Practicing Peace

  1. “Worry” … can be a Peace killer
    A verse hidden in my heart from a long time ago … that I could use to bring to my mind and practice more often considering my current “project”.
    Do not worry about tomorrow; for tomorrow will care for itself.
    I remembered Matthew 6. Had to open my Bible to get the verse, 34.
    But it’s the verse before (33) that’s the real punch line.
    Love you! Great post!

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