P is for Peace

Kindness and truth shall meet;
justice and peace shall kiss.

Psalm 85:11

P is for Peace. Of all of my heart’s desires, I think I long for and relish peace most of all. A recent internal bout (which wasn’t at all peaceful) intensified this longing. In the past, even during the most difficult of times, I’ve been at least faintly aware of a remnant of peace deep within me. In spite of my troubles, I’d remained convinced at some level that my circumstances would evolve for the best. This time, however, my ample contribution of blood, sweat, tears and prayer seemed not to help. After weeks of misery, I accepted that I couldn’t do much more to help myself. Finally, I directed my efforts upward and inched my way in God’s direction. I placed my troubles into God’s hands and eased myself into God’s embrace. When I let go of my sadness, I made room for God’s peace to enter in.

Though I’ll have to wait for heaven to enjoy the psalmist’s peaceful image which I cite above, I can find some level of peace in every moment I’m given. I need only to acknowledge God’s presence in the midst of it. Perhaps my New Year’s efforts should include taking a deep breath before allowing less-than-peaceful sentiments to overwhelm me. Perhaps these efforts should include a glance upward and a glance inward before I take the gloom and doom around me to heart. Perhaps I need to begin each day with a prayer that God’s peace surfaces within me before I allow anything else to enter in. Perhaps I can bring a glimpse of the psalmist’s image into this world and into my own heart after all.

Compassionate God, help us to set aside our worries and to focus upon your peaceful presence as we embrace each new day.

©2019 Mary Penich – All Rights Reserved

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Take Care of You

Whatever place does not welcome you
or listen to you, leave there and
shake the dust off your feet…

Mark 6:11

Every new year urges me to take stock of my life and to adjust as needed to make the most of every day. I know New Year 2018 is already 25 days old, but better late than never! This year, I once again acknowledge that I find it extremely difficult to shake the dust off my feet. I find peace in the familiar and I’m reluctant to change things when the status quo works. Still, just because things as they are function, I’m not necessarily making the most of the opportunities before me. What am I to do?

This propensity to stay connected to others is partially genetic and partially learned. My parents opened their door to everyone. My mom often said, “If people choose not to come in, it’s their loss.” Jesus welcomed everyone who crossed his path as well. So it is that I try to do the same.

Still, there are people and situations which aren’t necessarily good for us. They may not cause us physical harm, but they do take a psychological or spiritual toll. I find that if my gut is having a strong reaction to someone or something, I need to listen. This doesn’t necessarily mean that I need to completely remove myself from a given person or setting. However, it may mean that I should limit contact.

This may seem like an odd topic for a spiritual reflection, I know. However, I have good reason for sharing this. Sometimes, good people think that part of “being good” is to allow themselves to be hurt unnecessarily. I truly believe that God could not disagree more.

Dear God, keep us safe and wise. Help us to recognize harm and guide us away from its source.

©2018 Mary Penich – All Rights Reserved

P… Peace

Kindness and truth shall meet;
justice and peace shall kiss.
Truth shall spring out of the earth,
and justice shall look down from heaven.

Psalm 85:11-12

P is for Peace. Of all of my heart’s desires, I think I long for and relish peace most of all. The truth is that during the most difficult times of my life, I have been at least faintly aware of a measure of peace deep within me. In spite of the troubles at hand, I feel convinced at some level that circumstances will evolve for the best. While I may make my own ample contribution of blood, sweat, tears and prayer in the process, peace eases its way to the surface. Eventually, I accept that I can only do what I can do and I leave the rest to God. Letting go is an extremely difficult, but liberating exercise. When I empty myself of my worry and angst, I make room for God’s peace to enter in.

Though I may have to wait for heaven to enjoy the psalmist’s peaceful image which I’ve cited above, I can infuse some level of peace into every moment I’m given. Perhaps my New Year’s efforts to improve should include a deep breath before allowing less-than-peaceful sentiments to flow from my lips. Perhaps these efforts should include a glance upward and a glance within before I take the gloom and doom around me to heart. Perhaps I need to begin each day with a prayer that God’s peace surfaces within me before I allow anything else to erupt. Perhaps I can bring a glimpse of the psalmist’s image to this world after all.

Compassionate God, you generously gift us with your peace. Help us to set aside our worries and to focus upon your peaceful presence as we embrace all that lies ahead.

©2015 Mary Penich – All Rights Reserved