Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Choosing a heart of peace

We live in a stressful world, dealing with rudeness and a lack of empathy for others. I made a decision some time ago to choose a heart of peace. For a while now, I have been letting God work on my heart to react with peace. It’s not always easy, but it is always worth it. By choosing peace, people are easier to work with, because they have no cause to react to a peaceful answer. 

Romans 12:18 advises us “If possible, on your part, live at peace with everyone.” This can be a humbling process, at least it is for me, because my part is to stand firm and not allow gossip, disrespect, or the need to be right interfere with my peace. I have learned that trying to argue with people leads nowhere. I have learned that gossips and disrespectful people are digging holes for themselves.

I remember poems I have read, and what my Mom always said about me. I march to the beat of a different drum. Henry David Thoreau wrote “If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured or far away.”  Being a Christian I am marching to the beat of a different drum. But God also wants me to walk in the measured beat of the world, understanding that without Christ, we lack understanding.

One of my favorite poems is also a source of advice and remembrance when I am in stressful situations.

If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too;

If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or being lied about, don't deal in lies,
Or being hated, don't give way to hating,
And yet don't look too good, nor talk too wise:

If you can bear to hear the truth you've spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to broken,
And stoop and build 'em up with worn-out tools:

If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: 'Hold on!'

If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
Or walk with kings - nor lose the common touch,
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,
If all men count with you, but none too much;

If you can fill the unforgiving minute                                                                      
With sixty seconds' worth of distance run -
Yours is the Earth and everything that's in it,
 And - which is more - you'll be a Man my son! -  Rudyard Kipling

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