Yesterday, I did something different. I got all of my Etsy prayer bead orders ready to ship, then dropped them off at the post office on the way to meet my son at the bus stop. So what, you say? What’s significant about that?
I fill Etsy orders several days each week. My usual tendency is to wait until about 3:30pm to begin filling them. Inevitably, I end up rushing around getting orders together, preparing them for shipping, printing out mailing labels, then making a mad dash to the post office. I generally arrive at 4:57pm, running the packages in just before the employees lock the doors. On the drive back home I try to catch my breath and decompress from the hurried state I’ve created over the past 1 1/2 hours.
Yesterday was different. Knowing that I would need to get various orders in the mail, I took time before lunch to fill them. I did the same thing I do on all the other days: preparing the orders, printing out labels, etc. But this time, I was not in a hurry. I took my time. Once the packages were ready for shipping, I set them next to my purse. When it was time to go pick up Matthew, I left a few minutes early to drop them off at the post office on my way to the bus stop. The entire time I was calm. There was peace.
I’ve known for a while there were ways for me to clear out the stress and hurry from my life. With the help of The Academy for Spiritual Formation, I’ve been working on creating peace in my life in a variety of ways. This has forced me to be honest with myself, since I am often the one who caused the hurry and stress in my life.
That’s why, as I said yesterday, I was really struck by this quote that my friend, Lana, shared in her blog this week:
If you want to have true peace in your spirit, you must ruthlessly eliminate all hurry in your life. – Dallas Willard
What I get from this is that:
- there are things we can do to find peace, we are not passive in this process;
- in this case, I think hurry and stress are synonymous;
- getting rid of the areas where we are generally rushed, pressed for time, stressed out, etc., is a big step on the path to peace; and
- we must be ruthless – we must be willing to be honest with ourselves about what’s causing us to be hurried or stressed (particularly when we ourselves are the source), as well as committed to making changes and pressing on (even when it’s hard) until we achieve balance and peace.
And so I offer this devotion as a way of helping us all find “true peace in our spirit.” May you ruthlessly eliminate all hurry from your life, and may you find peace.
Cross: God of Peace,
Invitatory Bead: Prince of Peace,
Resurrection Bead: Spirit of Peace, hear my prayer.
First Cruciform Bead: I am tired (or stressed, or weary, or whatever word you want to use).
Week Beads, Set 1: Use each bead to take a deep, long breath, allowing your body to release your stress and hurry and rest in God’s hands.
Second Cruciform Bead: I am tired (or stressed, etc.) because of these things in my life:
Week Beads, Set 2: Use each bead to identify the areas in your life where you are hurried, stressed, etc. Be honest!
Third Cruciform Bead: I vow to be ruthless in trying to eliminate the hurry in my life by:
Week Beads, Set 3: Use each bead to think of ways to eliminate hurry and stress from your life. Again, be honest!
Four Cruciform Bead: Help me, Lord. I see your Peace.
Week Beads, Set 4: Use each bead to pray for God’s guidance, wisdom, discernment, and courage, to walk this path towards Peace.
Resurrection Bead: In the name of your Son, the Prince of Peace,