Thursday, February 17, 2011

gosh, the days are full of thinking

I've been full this week. So many different thoughts crowding around my heart and mind, trying to get my time and attention. I've been aware of the great gift of prayer for filtering these thoughts. I read Romans 8 the other morning and got thinking about the gift of the Spirit (in particular for the tasks of seeking wisdom and discernment). Seriously, what a gift. There's a verse in John (I should go look it up...but i think it's chapter 14...) in which Jesus talks about the gift of the Spirit and the gift(s) of peace of mind and heart. A life steeped in prayer with/to the Spirit is a life of peace, I think. But not a life without feeling and emotion. Sometimes I think we misunderstand what "feeling peace" looks like. Don't we tend to view peace of mind/heart as almost an emotionless state? Nothing bothering us, nothing concerning us, just a happy-go-lucky contentedness, unaffected, serene.... I'm not so sure that's accurate. Actually, I can say with a high level of certainty that it's not.
I think peace of mind and heart probably have more to do with the rest and relief that come with trusting and entrusting our lives to the Lord--to the day-by-day guiding presence of the Spirit, a presence we rely on even without knowing it sometimes. Peace of mind and heart is the exercise of faith. Belief that there's a bigger story written by a hand other than our own but a story we are nonetheless written into...a story in whose context we find meaning, purpose, and fulfillment. This doesn't mean we don't feel life (the ups and downs; the joys the sorrows; the security and the insecurity) but I think it means we can be steady in life. Peace of mind and heart are an offered assurance that our lives are not our own and that's something of a relief (because we know our need--we live with ourselves day in and day out and so are pretty aware of where we fumble, falter, and fail). In God's restoration story we find significance beyond what we could offer or cultivate ourselves and that provides us with deep rest: peace. We don't have to figure it all out. We can't. Life isn't an equation that we have to do our best to figure out or answer. There's a structured order to our existence (and in our learning and understanding who we are) that provides us with peace of mind and heart...
It's taking me awhile to get my heart and mind around this. Still learning. It'll probably take a lifetime ;)

1 comment:

whitney lauren said...

good thoughts, Andrea. Thanks. :)