When I was growing up living in Southern California we would make that long drive back and forth to Oklahoma where the rest of our extended family lived. It was the day when cars were uncomfortable and hot. My brother had quite a lot of rambunctiousness in his body. Halfway through the Mojave Desert my dad, once, stopped the car and said, “Well that’s enough, son! Get out and run behind the car until you get that all out of your system and calm down.” So, my brother happily jumped out, eager for this adventure, and began his run. I have to say, It was quite entertaining for me. I was delighted to watch the show from the back window. It wasn’t long before he started yelling, “That’s enough, I’ve got my energy out, I’m calmed down, I’m calmed down.” So, my dad eased on the brakes and let him catch up. He climbed in and was, actually, quite happy for the adventure. He was, as he said, “calmed down.”
Today, I want to encourage us all to just calm down! In my last blog I posted some of the great passages regarding peace from the scripture. Today I wanted to continue the subject, but from a slightly different angle. I believe Jesus wants us to be calm and at peace.
It seems, to me, like most people, today are wound too tightly. I hear people say things like, “My life is so crazy” and “I’ve got to slow down.” I think we all feel this way at various times in our lives, sometimes more than others. If you know me, you might be saying, “Sure, that’s easy for you to say. Your kids are grown and you don’t have all the demands I do with my kids.” That’s true. However, I still believe you can have a calm and a peaceful environment at any stage of your life. Being calm is a choice. Are there times when things pile up and we get overscheduled or overcommitted? Absolutely. But this should be the exception and not the rule.
I think it would be nice for a change to hear someone say, “I had such a peaceful and productive week.” I’d like to hear someone say, “I have an exciting plan and am ready for this summer,” or, “My kids and I had such a lovely day.” I have one friend who seems to portray this kind of demeanor. She has more kids than most but, when I read her social media and talk with her, I feel a sense of calmness and peace throughout her entire household. She doesn’t ever seem to be in a panic or in a frazzled tizzy. I know this is possible for others too.
It seems like so many book titles for women promote “crazy.” I run across book titles like, “How to Embrace the Crazy,” “The Frazzled Housewife,” “If It Ain’t Broke It will Be,” “How to Survive the Crazy Life of Preschoolers,” “My Drains Clogged and My Brains Clogged.” Ok, most of those I just made up … but do you see where I am going with this? Is your life really that way, or are you just repeating what you hear everyone else saying? Help me start a new conversation. Help me help you! Let’s all just calm down! How about if we give the word ‘crazy’ a little vacation? Help me promote peace and calmness.
Remember, if you calm down, so will your family. Children don’t do well when they are rushed, when they feel chaos around them, when they feel pressured to maintain a tight schedule, and when they don’t have time to just sit and play. Play is the work of a child. If you wonder why your kids are misbehaving or having issues? Check their schedule! You order your life! Don’t let other people determine your life. Learn how to say “no” for yourself and for your children. To me the epitome of our fast pace “crazy” lives is the fact that there are microwave directions for a Poptart. Brian Reagan says, “Who doesn’t have time to toast a Poptart? if you need to zap fry your Poptart before you head out the door, you might want to loosen up your schedule! If you’re waking, eating and hailing in three seconds, you’re booking yourself too tight.”
Meditate on Scripture like this verse, Matthew 11:28-30, “Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. “Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. “For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.”
Mark 4:35-41, “On that day, when evening had come, he said to them, “Let us go across to the other side.” And leaving the crowd, they took him with them in the boat, just as he was. And other boats were with him. And a great windstorm arose, and the waves were breaking into the boat, so that the boat was already filling. But he was in the stern, asleep on the cushion. And they woke him and said to him, “Teacher, do you not care that we are perishing?” And he awoke and rebuked the wind and said to the sea, “Peace! Be still!” And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm. He said to them, “Why are you so afraid? Have you still no faith?” And they were filled with great fear and said to one another, “Who then is this, that even wind and sea obey him?”
Jesus rebuked the wind and the waves. Then everything was calm. He is the Master, The Creator … and he wasn’t going let his creation rule over Him. Jesus doesn’t like confusion and disorder. We also can’t let the chaos rule us. Remember, Jesus is our peace.