Saturday held three soul-lifting events all rolled into one experience; a moment of time to revive my spirit! I was able to (1) go for a run, which happened to take place (2) outdoors through tree-lined trails located (3) at the camp I so often declare to be my spiritual “home away from home!”
I ran the trails, sunlight blinking through the trees. The only sounds came from the wind rustling the leaves above me and from my shoes crunching the dried leaves below, blissfully drowning out the sound of my own labored breathing. (Plus, I soaked up more natural Vitamin D during this short run than I’ve been able to do in months!)
I spend a lot of time anticipating escape from chaos. (Or, perhaps I too often allow myself to be overcome by my own self-created state of conflict?) Either way, I’m afraid I focus so hard on a future escape from my perceived chaos that I miss clarity in the present. My husband and I just booked a trip to a warm, all-inclusive resort far south of my Nebraska residence. We travel early this summer. Late one night this week we found ourselves stressed-out by the endless decisions to be made. So we paused to look at pictures from the resort. We used our future serenity to find release our current experience of chaos.
I guess dreaming about an upcoming beach vacation with your husband is not a bad thing – this is a special vacation; something to look forward to! It is also not a bad thing to seek serenity amidst chaos. I do not believe our God created us to live in a state of chaos!
“Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” Matthew 11:28-30
God desires to remove chaos from our lives – either real or self-inflicted. God knows there is chaos – but God also sees the bigger picture, knowing the peace we experience when we rest our yoke upon him.
Chaos and conflict seems increasingly prevalent in our world today. I am reminded of guidance I heard recently from a trusted pastor and church leader… It was a reminder that chaos can serve a purpose. Chaos is often where God starts to do incredible things. This pastor referenced the creation story from Genesis. A wind from God swept over the waters – with that upheaval there was creation from darkness.
Or as I read this week in an eloquent Facebook meme… “Sometimes s**t happens so the shift can happen.”
Upon reflection of my week, the chaos I felt, the stillness I sought and the words from Matthew 11, I’ll close with these words of advice – more for myself than anyone else!
- It is okay to seek rest for my soul; God speaks to a quiet spirit!
- I must avoid creating my own chaos! The world holds enough dissension, destruction, pain and fear without my own self-created problems.
- When chaos does exist, I must remember that God is present; that just as God will speak to a quiet spirit through a small voice, God will also use chaos to move in very big, loud ways!