Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Peace and Quiet

Will you help me? I've been asked to write an article for the Barren County Progress and I want your feedback on my first submission. Here it is. Read it and let me hear from you...


The peaceful and quiet life. Sounds nice, doesn’t it? Yet, we know it is elusive. It’s probably something people do in some other town. Our lives are active and busy. There are always errands to run, chores to be finished and deadlines to meet. And, even if we aren’t on the go that much our minds are always racing. There is little doubt that we can become overwhelmed quite easily. We don’t like this fact, but many find it true more often than not. Does it have to be this way? What causes us to be this way?

There must be something that motivates our busyness. The calendar doesn’t dictate our lives to us. We hold the pencil in our hand. We allow ourselves to be overwhelmed and driven until we are run ragged. But why? Could it could be that our fear of what others think of us drive us to this maddening pace? We don’t want to be thought of as the bad son or daughter, the parents that are always lagging behind or the neighbor everyone talks about at the end of their driveways. We don’t want to be the employee that seems to underachieve. Now, I’m not saying that we shouldn’t work hard and take care of our responsibilities. Indeed, we should. What I’m saying is that I often take on too much because I’m worried about what others are thinking of me. And I think you might as well. In my pursuit to be perceived as living the peaceful and quiet life I create waves of chaos to keep the illusion flickering on the screen of life.

Is there a solution? Paul, an author of the New Testament of the Bible, offers a suggestion. Prayer and humility before God are what he recommends. Prayer forces us to acknowledge that God is working all around us. Whether we are asking God for wisdom or provision, or thanking Him for what He has given we are forced to realize that He is the Giver and we are the receiver. He is the Need-meeter and we are the needy. The humility we discover in 2 Timothy 2:1-7 tells us that we are, ultimately and supremely, to be concerned with pleasing God. And there is that notion of pleasing again. It’s interesting that when we please God many of the people mentioned above are pleased also. Not all, but many. Then, maybe we’ll find that peace and quiet we desire.

1 comment:

Ben Simpson said...

Brandon, this article is certainly helpful. You capture well the palpable tension that we all feel in our lives.

Will I please God, or will I please man? Hopefully, we will be happy to find that we can do both (as you point out), but that's often not the case. In those moments where the two options are in opposition, we must be careful to make God's being pleased with us the priority. Often this option is more difficult because pleasing man is usually the easier, more readily rewarded option, but we as believers are called to live for the greater reward. It's at this point, we champion Paul's declaration in 2 Corinthians 5:7, "for we walk by faith, not by sight." We rest in the faith that God is actually rewarding us, even if I can't see it or touch it or hear at this moment.

Thanks for the article. I believe the people of Glasgow will be edified. We could all use some more peace and quiet!