Tuesday, Dec. 10 – Eddie Stepp

10 Dec

Tuesday, Dec. 10 – Peace

Today’s Scripture:
Proverbs 12:20; Colossians 3:15-17

One of the most peaceful places I have experienced is the Trappist monastery in Monck’s Corner, South Carolina.  I have made the 5-hour journey on several occasions to this tree-lined sanctuary on the banks of the Cooper River, and each time have come away with a greater awareness of the peaceful presence of God.  There is something about a weekend with the monks, unplugged from life and all of its distractions, to remind me of the value of quiet, peaceful reflection.

Once the weekend is over, the peaceful easy feeling lasts for a few days usually. But then “real life” returns in all its glory.  There are papers to grade, tasks to accomplish, or deadlines to meet, and peace slides through my fingers like boiled okra.  It doesn’t take long before the monastery seems a million miles away.

Why is peace so elusive? Why is it so hard to allow the peace of Christ to rule in my heart (Col 3:15)? Why do my circumstances and my schedule tend to rule my heart instead?

In many ways, this is my current million dollar question.  While I don’t pretend to have it all figured out, I am learning several important ideas that are echoed by Paul in Colossians 3, ideas that surround his call for believers to allow Christ’s peace to reign in us. Paul says to seek things that are above, not the earthly stuff (v. 1-2).  I am profoundly expert at doing the opposite – and I wonder why peace is elusive?  Paul says to put on the clothes of compassion, kindness, humility, patience and love (v. 12-14).  While my closet contains those garments, in the rush of life I am quick to put on other vestments – preoccupation, frustration, worry, and self-sufficiency – and peace remains at arm’s length.  Paul says to be thankful (v. 15, 17).  Far too often I am so busy flitting from task to task that I don’t take the necessary time to pause and allow gratitude to take root – and peace dances in the wind just out of my grasp.

Like me, you may be wondering at this point, what in the world am I talking about? Here is what I am learning: 1) Seeking good things, putting on good things, and being thankful for good things are directly related to experiencing peace in all things; and 2) Peace doesn’t just happen – I need to be disciplined in my thinking, in my affections and in my time to foster habits of the mind and heart that provide space for the peace of Christ to dwell.  It is my decisions, both big and small, throughout the day, that point me toward peace, or in the opposite direction.

I hope that in this season that I (and we) will make choices that lead to peace.



One Response to “Tuesday, Dec. 10 – Eddie Stepp”

  1. Bob Campbell December 10, 2013 at 11:20 am #

    So peace is a discipline? I guess that explains why I have so little peace because I have so little discipline

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