Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Peace Chaser

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Psalm 55:22-23 (New International Version)
22 Cast your cares on the LORD
and he will sustain you; ...
23...But as for me, I trust in you

They were outside for hours, enjoying a sunny Saturday morning in the snow; three playmates; two girls and one dog. They were having the kind of simple fun that was a delight for this grandmother to observe from afar.

A frozen top layer had formed over the snow--a legacy of the bad storms of the previous two days. This was jumped upon until a hole was made. Then the girls began digging. There is something indescribably fascinating about a hole; and the deeper the better. Molson thought so too. He didn't hesitate to poke his head and shoulders deep into the hole to explore, and sniff the scent of earth, leaving only his big golden retriever hind parts above the ground.

Later, I looked at the photos I'd shot quickly from the upper window. In one of them, during a few resting moments, Victoria had laid her head against Molson's furry body. "He was warm," she told me later.

The image of the child's head on the warm, powerful body of the dog, captured me. It evoked a feeling of peace that I longed for.

I read a familiar passage this morning, from Matthew 11. It's the tantalizing invitation given by Jesus--"Come to me, all you who are weary...I will give you rest."

My team and I work under often tremendous pressure and I've been encouraging them to focus on life/work balance--keeping healthy for the long haul. But I've felt like such a poor example lately as a tidal wave of meetings, phone calls and emails demanded attention. I know that I've been intense, not easy to engage in small talk, too focused. I found myself wondering this morning why I couldn't find that "easy yoke" that Jesus spoke of.

The passage in Matthew seemed to me like one of those dreams where you keep running but you never reach your destination. Why, I wondered, would Jesus hold out this "carrot," if we can't get to it? I even wondered what I was doing wrong--if there's a place of peace--a way to walk this life in serenity--and I can't find it--what is wrong with me?

So I read the passage again--in context. I discovered that Jesus is talking about a spiritual peace. We are freed from the burden of "religion" into relationship with God through Christ. In my Life Application Bible, the commentary says that, "The rest Jesus promises is love, healing and peace with God, not the end of all labour."

That was sort of a relief. I can accept the fact that there are days when even the best juggler couldn't keep all the balls in the air, as long as I don't think I should be able to! And the next time I'm feeling overwhelmed, I'm going to think of a little girl with her head on a big furry friend and I'm going to lean into the shoulder of God.

Matthew 11:28-29 (New International Version)
28"Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. 29Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.
(From the Archives. First published: March 8, 2007)


Leann said...

yes we all need the masters shoulder.me I seek it out alot.loved this story.it reminded me of a of the day my littl brother and I headed out in to the snow to play if I get time Ill put it on my blog.God bless you.

Belinda said...

Hi Leann,
I can't wait to read another of your wonderful stories.
God bless you too!