Not too long ago, while sitting in a meeting, I felt a little wave of nervousness pass over me. It sort of tickled itself across the back of my neck, just below my hairline, and I felt my breathing get a little bit shorter. Has that ever happened to you?
In the split second it took me to catch my breath — right there in the middle of a room full of people who had no idea I was catching my breath — I decided to choose peace instead. I’m no expert at choosing peace, so I can’t tell you exactly how it’s done.
What I know for sure, is that peace is best chosen before there’s a need for it.
We decide we want to be enveloped by peace, and we want to radiate peace, and we want to be agents and conduits of peace. We decide this while in the carpool lane, or sitting in traffic, or watching the news, or chopping vegetables, or balancing a checkbook, or preaching a sermon, or litigating a case, or mopping a floor, or managing a project, or selling a car, or raking the leaves, or running a mile through the woods. Sometimes we know we’ve decided it, and sometimes we don’t realize it until later. Whether we know it or not, however, we become practitioners of peace.
What I know for sure, is that peace takes root where peace is practiced.
We begin to practice peace, the best way we know how. We stumble our way towards it, and it opens itself up to us — like it had been waiting for this very moment, hoping we’d show up to take its hand. The more we practice it, the more it settles in our bones.
Soft and light and free.
Of course, the wonder of it all is the way peace makes itself at home in us, even when mountains sink like sand and disappear into the seas.
That day in the meeting, I chose peace. Or, maybe peace chose me? I can’t say for sure.
What I know for sure is that, in the moment it took me to catch my breath, I felt the sweet assurance of One who always promises, “I’m right here with you. You are not alone.”
I know this for sure: You are not alone. Not today. Not tomorrow. Not in all the days to come. He is right here with you, and He extends the invitation to let peace take root in your soul.