I’ve been doing a little experiment lately, mainly because my peace has been elusive and fickle. And when that happens, there’s usually one reason: once again, I have taken control of my life and tried to make. everything. happen.
As an “achiever” (according to Strengths Finder) I tend toward accomplishing things. I read a lot of self help books, hoping to improve myself with each read. While it’s always good to have a growth mindset, sometimes that hinders my joy because I live as if everything is up to me.
Growing up, I felt like my sole protector. I didn’t feel protected in other ways, so I took up that mantle. Which has led to me being a hyper vigilant adult, one who ALWAYS opens doors first, walks in front of others, and perennially keeps a look out for danger. I’m weird that way.
When I live in this state, I soon realize I cannot manufacture peace on my own. I feel like a woman spinning plates, while most of them shatter around me. Still, I spin, hoping for a different result.
(Can you relate to this, or am I crazy?)
So, lately, I’ve determined to slow down the pace of my thoughts. Instead of letting them control me (Do this! No this! How about this? This is an emergency!), I’m taking a breath and asking the Spirit to speak to me in the midst of the situation. It’s helped me quiet the voices. It’s helped me find joy. And it’s made for a more compelling life.
Instead of trying to do all the things, my heart rests more. And I have more peace. Instead of do-do-doing, I pause and wonder how I can be more present in a situation.
It happened Monday. I decided (felt prompted) to walk to my workout at our local park. There, sitting on the pavement was a girl who asked me a question.
“Do you know what time it is?”
I told her.
She looked stressed. (Oh how I could relate!)
After we talked a little bit, and I realized she might have missed her bus on the very first day of school, I offered to take her.
Which I did. And it was delightful. (In retrospect, I should have offered my phone to her, and let her ask her parents if that was okay!). But time was of the essence–her first day of junior high and she was already running late–so off we went. I learned about her family, her worries about the first day, and some of her overall fears. She was sweet and thankful. And when she saw a friend in the drop off line, I was so grateful that I had listened to the Spirit that morning.
I’ll probably never see her again, but that’s okay. She taught me a valuable lesson–that God’s Spirit prompts peace, yes, but He also inaugurates adventure.