Driving down the highway at
70 mph, I see the brake lights on the car ahead of me. For a few anxious
seconds, I don’t think I can stop in time. Finally jerking to a complete stop, I look up to see an ocean of red brake lights ahead of me.
MY MIND SHOUTS: START
HONKING YOUR HORN! BLAME EVERYONE FOR YOUR NEAR-DEATH EXPERIENCE!
My soul whispers: Give
thanks for your deliverance from a collision. Pray for the ones three miles
up the road who didn’t get that gift of safety.
I don’t know why, but at
12:30 am, I'm awake. Knowing my child is out on a date and should have been home at
midnight, I wonder if I missed the required “Wake me when you get home”
Getting up, I make my way to
the next room. Empty bed. After waiting twenty nervous minutes in the living room, my wayward
child comes through the door.
MY MIND SHOUTS: WHY ARE YOU
LATE? WHY DID YOU MAKE ME WORRY LIKE THIS? HOW COULD YOU BE SO IRRESPONSIBLE?
My soul whispers: Your child
stopped to help a friend who was drinking get home safely. Wait calmly to hear
this miraculous story of love of neighbor.
I promised myself that I will get up early and complete twenty minutes on the
exercise bike. Early morning is best. That way I won’t forget, or run
out of time during the day.
The alarm goes off. It’s so cold! I’m surprised by
how the chilly the air is in my room. With the shades drawn tight, the room is pitch dark.
MY MIND YELLS: STAY IN BED!
GET SOME EXTRA REST, YOU WERE UP LATE LAST NIGHT. IT’S TOO COLD TO GET UP THIS
EARLY! ONE SKIPPED DAY WON’T HURT ANYTHING!
My soul whispers: Trials
come and trials go. Meet the dark and chill with the resolve that I give you.
Come and play with me. You will be blessed.
Have you ever noticed how
mouthy that inner voice is? Kicking out opinions like a bubble blower, its
volume seems to increase with each passing minute. And so reactive! And what
are the goals of this bellowing voice?
“How can I make sure everyone knows my opinion?”
It’s so easy for me to default to
the loudest voice.
Striving to both be at peace, and be a peacemaker, is
not an easy process. The road is winding, the gate is narrow. Abandoning that
first, knee-jerk reaction, takes a stubborn willingness to take a breath and find the truth
behind what I see.
So the next time my inner
self ‘goes off’ at some slight, I’ve got to challenge myself. Go deeper,
rejecting the loud, insistent foghorn of anger, fear and resentment. I
am called to be so much better than that.
I am called to peace,
called to forgiveness, called to thanksgiving.
Labels: mind, patience, peacemaker, soul