Sunday, May 27, 2012

Serenity

When I list the events and responsibilities in our lives for the first half of this year, our family and friends shake their heads and wonder if we will survive. At times, I think the same thing, yet most of the time they are like items to check off a list. Going to a wedding or buying a birthday gift or traveling to another country are the same to me in this respect — I cannot do any of them without God’s help, but because of His grace and strength, none of them will be difficult. 
 
For a while, I’ve been wondering if this sense of all being the same is part of aging. What used to be the ups and downs or extremes of life have become level. I’m just as excited and joyful over a trip to the grocery story as a wedding anniversary party. It seems a bit odd, but not an unwelcome change from my former pattern of emotional swings with all those highs and lows. 

This morning I read a quote from Pascal. He said, “Do little things as if they were great, because of the majesty of the Lord Jesus Christ, who dwells in thee; and do great things as if they were little and easy, because of His omnipotence.” This quote is attached to this verse from the New Testament that describes both a motive and an attitude of the heart.
And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him. (Colossians 3:17)
I didn’t plan this leveling of my emotions or this sense of relying on God for both large and small things, nor did I think it out or put words to it as Pascal did. However, by grace it is happening and it feels good. Now that I’ve become aware that it isn’t just a thing attached to being older, nor does it have anything to do with being too worn out to ride the pendulum, I will cooperate with the Holy Spirit and gladly let this happen, choosing also to be thankful for it.


Lord, the word that comes to mind is “serenity.” This word isn’t in the Bible, but by definition it is. It means to be calm and at peace. For me, this can only be the peace that You give for only You can make possible the motivation and attitude to face little things as if they were great, and great things as if they were little. Thank You again for that “peace of God, which surpasses all understanding.” Your peace most certainly “guards my heart and mind in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:7) and levels out the extremes.

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