Monday, September 10, 2012

seek peace...

"Turn from evil and do good; seek peace and pursue it." ~Psalm 34:14

seek: to go in search of; to ask for; to try to acquire or gain

pursue: to find or employ measures to obtain or accomplish; to chase

turn from: to direct one's attention away from something


Sometimes I want peace to just "come with the territory" of faith.
I mean, if you know deep down that God is in control and that He will work for the good in everything that happens in your life, peace should just be a given, right?

This verse, though, puts a bit of a different light on things. Peace isn't something we just get by default--it is something we are told to search out, to chase after.

And the first thing we have to do? Make a 180-degree turn from evil, the thing that is stealing our peace.

I imagine just about everybody has something that is stealing their peace.
So in my life right now, the thing that is stealing my peace is worrying about grad school.

Guess that means I'm supposed to turn away from school and focus on the wonderful, peaceful parts of my life. Nice, easy solution. I'll just relax and be at peace all the time that way...

What? It doesn't work that way?
Hmm.

You see, grad school isn't what is stealing my peace--worrying about it is.
"Wyrgan" is an Old English word that means "to strangle."
In Middle English, it became "worien" (do you see where I'm going with this?). It paints a bit of an ugly picture, but this means, and I quote, "to grasp by the throat with the teeth and lacerate." It wasn't until the 1800s that "worry" took on the meaning that it has today, where you are bothered by something.

I think I like the Middle English, worien...although, maybe "like" is the wrong term to use here...

I can't speak for you, but when something is worien me (get it? worrying=worien? Sorry--language puns!), I can't focus on much of anything else.

Peace? Not a chance.
I'm lucky to just get through the day without a breakdown.

So for me, the first step has to be to turn from evil by not letting myself be "worien"ed to death. Only then will I be able to chase after peace, to give myself over to the pursuit of something way more worthwhile than worien.

Another definition for seek, though, is to ask for something. So often I ignore that definition. I start chasing after peace then wonder why I'm getting so worn out by doing just the thing I'm told to do.

I forget the asking part.

I forget to talk to my Father who gives peace to His children (see Psalm 29:11).
from geograph.org.uk
I memorized the 23 Psalm when I was younger, probably the ultimate passage about God giving us peace. It seems like I forget it, though. It's almost like I got so used to reciting the passage when I was memorizing it or participating in Bible Drill that I kind of overlook it.

If you are like me, I encourage you not to recite the passage this time.
Look at it.
Read it.
Like my Classical Mechanics professor tells us to do with our homework problems, savor it. Let it really sink in:

"The Lord is my shepherd;
I shall not want.
He maketh me to lie down in green pastures:
He leadeth me beside the still waters.
He restoreth my soul:
He leadeth me in the paths of righteousness
for His name's sake.
Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil:
for Thou art with me;
Thy rod and Thy staff, they comfort me.
Thou preparest a table before me,
in the presence of mine enemies:
Thou anointest my head with oil;
my cup runneth over.
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life:
and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever."



To sum it up, we have 3 key things to remember:
turn
     ask
         chase

1 comment:

Thoughts? I would love to hear them!
~Mandy