All you have to do is look around you. You don't even have to look hard. We live in a rushed (border-line frantic) society. We're always in a hurry...moving from point A to point D in one frenzied swoop. How does this happen? How are we allowing life to pass us by without even a second glance? Even more pertinent, how do we find stillness and peace amongst chaos?
I was driving home from my girls' gymnastics class the other day. As I was driving, I could see another car coming up behind us pretty quick. I stayed in my lane and waited for the car to pass by. It didn't take long before I was well behind this car.
They got caught up at a red light. I watched as the light turned green and the car sped off, weaving its way through the mildly dense line of cars. In an attempt to change lanes once again and pass yet another car, the driver quickly jerked into the right-hand lane. Then, I watched as an SUV veered off the road to avoid being hit by said car. The car continued on its way, relentlessly skirting the bumpers of nearby drivers.
This isn't unusual. We see it all the time. At least I know we do here in California. But seeing it at that moment really made me stop and think. I don't know what was going on with that driver. Perhaps he was just having a bad day...the point is that he was clearly in a hurry to get where he was going.
We're not pausing long enough to even consider what path we're on. In our hurriedness, are we on the path to life or on a path to destruction. Our choices, our decisions, even our thoughts can dictate the direction our lives take. Did that driver consider what consequences his decisions could have? Was point B worth sacrificing himself or someone else? I'd venture to say probably not.
We know we're called to live a life of peace and stillness. Yet, we have no peace and we aren't still. What is this costing us? What are we sacrificing when we refuse to slow down? HOW do we slow down when the world around us is moving so fast?
The key?... Be intentional
Not what you expected? I hate to tell you this but there is no "get rich quick" scheme when it comes to Yah...despite what many churches teach. In the world we live in today, you have to seek Yahuah and His peace INTENTIONALLY & DILIGENTLY. Peace will not hunt you down if you're not seeking it. But you know who will? The enemy will! And he will bombard you with chaos, doubt, uncertainty, and every other hellish antics he can come up with in an attempt to steal your hope, kill your faith, and destroy your life.
So, how can we be intentional and diligent about seeking peace and stillness?
Pray Diligently, Pray Intentionally
I know it seems like a typical answer but I'm not talking the cliche, "just pray about it" type of prayer. It's personal one-on-one "down & dirty" War Room type prayer with the creator of heaven and earth. It makes sense that peace comes when we connect with the only TRUE source of peace.
We know we're supposed to pray. It's no secret amongst the believing community. But how many of us are praying out of convenience or desperation or not at all? Now, Yah can and does answer desperate prayer and cries for help...absolutely! But if He'll do that, imagine what would happen if we maintain a constant and deliberate connection to Him...
Spend Time Alone in a Quiet Space
This is especially critical for an introvert like me. I need time alone to recharge and recenter myself. But I don't think it's limited to introverts. Taking time to yourself is beneficial to all. With everything around us moving so quickly, it's hard to find time to reflect. And reflection is important (for all) but particularly for believers. It gives you an intentional and purposeful reason to SLOW DOWN.
Take this time to assess your health. Yes, physical health, but also your mental, emotional, and spiritual health. Because here's the thing, living in a fast-paced world where you're toiling and moving non-stop, it's easy to ignore or lose sight of your overall health. It's buried under an inexhaustible list of must-do's and by the time you "get to it" you find out there was something wrong underneath it all. Do yourself (and your loved ones a favor) and do a regular maintenance check.
Also, take this time to access your heart condition. Our world is filled with so much hatred and just pure evil. Be diligent about searching your heart. How are you feeling about recent events? Are you having less-than-holy thoughts or feelings? Are you angry, fearful, or perhaps feeling hatred? If you are, I encourage you to, firstly, repent and pray that Yah gives you a clean heart and renews a right spirit within you. Nothing will steal your peace and sound mind quicker than fear or hatred. This is why intentionality and diligence are so important. Because praying once, or reading the Bible once will not maintain peace. The Bible says to keep the Word ever before your eyes...why? So you don't forget...so it drowns out the cares of the world, so you're constantly girding yourself up to defend yourself against the fiery darts of the enemy...so you'll have peace in an unpeaceful world. Which bring me to our next point...
Meditate More on His Word
Because this is where true peace can be found..in His word. Peace, hope, and certainty in an uncertain world. We know meditating on His word is what we're supposed to do but are we making it a priority? Are we unintentionally meditating more on the cares of this world? I know I've been guilty of doing so and I'll be the first to tell you...it steals your peace!
Try making Yahuah and His word a priority for a week and see if it doesn't bring you more peace. But remember, it has to be intentional! If you wait until you "feel like it" or "feel inspired to" it won't happen. You have to be diligent and intentional. Play scripture through audio while you're cleaning or running errands. Listen to scripturally sound music. Set an alarm on your phone that pops up with scriptures.
The point is to be intentional about saturating your life with the word of Yah. Where ever you frequent, bring scripture with you. Post sticky notes with scripture on your cubical wall. Post it to the visor in your car. Find a printable of your favorite scripture, print it, frame it, and set it on your nightstand. There are LOTS of ways to keep His word before your eyes. You just have to accommodate your particular circumstances and do what works for you.
Meditate Less on the World
And for goodness sakes, turn the t.v. off! I'm grateful that we don't have cable. But even at that, our social media feeds are saturated with one piece of bad news after another. Death, corruption, pure evil is the majority of what we see today.
I'm not suggesting we turn a blind eye to the plight of the world by any means. But when we invest so much time and energy merely dwelling on the negativity, it's no wonder we have no peace! The world is collapsing around us and the majority have no idea what's really going on.
Your efforts would be better spent in prayer or sharing the truth with those who are willing to hear. Seek Yah and ASK Him if there's something more He wants you to do.
It's easy to forget the humanity of the world when so many are acting inhumanely. It's also easy to forget that these same people are children of Yah..created by Him for a purpose. Serving others reminds us that we're all here in this struggle together. Each of us serving a different purpose. We have to put our cares and worries in our Father's hands. This allows us to focus on other things and serve a greater purpose. We can think clearer and be a light to those who are still drowning under the weight of fear, doubt, and whatever else.
Plus, there's something about the ministry of service that does something good to the soul. It has a way of uplifting the giver, as well as, the receiver! This can be as simple as making a meal. You could offer to help your elderly neighbor with her yard work. Use this opportunity to connect with and encourage people. See if it doesn't lift your spirits!
Until next time,
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How do you plan to be more intentional about seeking stillness amongst the chaos? Share with me in the comments below!
Hi there! My name is Brittany..help meet to T.J. and mom to 5 little blessings. My passion lies in helping other women to see their value through the eyes of their creator. Be Encouraged...YOU are a Good Thing!