December 21, 2017
New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)
He said to him, “‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.’
Six Secrets to Bring Back Peace
By Janet Perez Eckles
New friends ask me, “Being blind, how do you put on your make-up?”
My answer is simple: I do it carefully.
After living with complete blindness for 25 years, I often forget my limitations.
But trouble comes when getting ready to go out. I pry myself from endless tasks. At the last minute, I rush around like a crazy woman. I hop in the shower, slip on my robe and dash into my walk-in closet. Frantically, I slide hangers, looking for any outfit to wear.
How do I do this with no sight? It’s pretty simple. When I purchase an item, I store in my memory its characteristics—the texture, the shape of the neckline, buttons or length of sleeve.
One light touch tells me what the item is. But when I’m in a hurry, trying to find the right outfit gets a bit tough. Not because I can’t see, but because I just have too many clothes. Way more than any blind gal should be allowed to have. The bar holding all those hangers is probably sagging from the weight.
Oh, how my jammed closet resembled my life—full of tasks of all kinds and sizes. Like a squirrel running from tree to tree, I’d dash from one task to another.
I had no choice—lots of people to please. Fueling that desire, even as a young girl, I tried to perform to win my parents’ and teachers’ approval. Later on, I wanted to please my family, my employer, and my friends. Phew! I thought that the only way to please myself was by pleasing them.
Have you been there? The pleasing craze explodes during holiday season. We rush through life eager to make someone happy. And the level of stress and tension rises like the thermometer in Orlando’s summer.
So this upcoming season, I vow to cool off. God never meant us to live in the heat of tension. He gave one pretty refreshing directive: “Master, which is the greatest commandment in the law? Jesus said unto him, you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.” (Matthew 22:36-37)
When life sags from the weight of countless tasks, obeying His greatest commandment is the key to peaceful success.
When I slip my feet into my slippers in the morning, this is what plays in my head: Loving God means…
- Inviting Him into my day.
- Drawing wisdom to place the correct order to my priorities.
- Presenting Him with my to-do list for His approval.
- Giving thanks for glitches as I know He will resolve.
- Receiving moments of rest to refuel my energy.
- Inhaling His Word to keep calm and secure.
Deviating from His ways equals burnout. But obeying His greatest commandment ushers wisdom: To arrange priorities; to press forth when fatigued; to bring clarity when confused; to be calm when overwhelmed; and to know the warmth of His love when feeling unappreciated.
Ah! Getting ready for the day is easier now—I cleaned out my closet, tossing out unnecessary worry and the foolish notion to always have to please others. When I put on the dress of peace, designed by His love, it looks pretty good on me…and it will on you too!
You can take a deep breath, relax, and slip it on with confidence because “It’s useless to rise early and go to bed late, and work your worried fingers to the bone. Don’t you know He enjoys giving rest to those He loves?” (Psalm 127:2, The Message Bible)
Accepting His invitation to rest, the cure is simple: instead of being productive to fulfill our goals, we aim to please Him to fulfill His plans. That’s when we go through the tasks with delight in our heart and with His peace that sings in our soul.