Choosing Peace

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"Choosing Peace" by Sheri Wohlfert (CatholicMom.com)

Via Pixabay (2015), CC0 Public Domain

Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts…Colossians 3:15

I was holding one of my new great-nephews the other night at a family gathering and as I was staring down at his perfect tininess, I couldn’t help but remember my own kids sleeping in my arms years ago. I was enjoying my trip down memory lane as I watched this little “boy wonder” sleeping so peacefully in my arms when out of nowhere, a loud noise woke up the little man and  instantly he was crying and kicking and flapping his little arms around. In a split second he went from complete peace to frightened chaos. The crazy thing was that just as fast as he got wound up, he calmed right down and went back to sleep. In a tiny second, he had completely gone back to peacefulness. I realized it takes me much longer to settle down after someone disturbs my peace!

It has been a quiet summer and I’ve had the chance to spend many minutes on my front porch enjoying the peacefulness of a quiet country morning or evening. The morning after I held my great nephew I was sitting on my porch and I read a quote that said, “Why do we only REST in peace and not LIVE in peace too?” When I put the the two together it seemed like a recipe for change. I thought about how quickly that sweet baby boy went from calm to crazy and back to calm and I thought about how peace just seems to be reserved for vacation and those rare moments when the chores are caught up or we’re too pooped to do anything but flop into bed. That doesn’t seem quite right, does it?

I sat right there on my porch with a cup of hot coffee and a prayer book open on my lap thinking I was going to be all over this “peace” stuff and then it happened! I lost my peace. One second I’m all peaceful, like that sleeping baby, and then right up out of a Hosta Lily in the landscaping came Gus Gus the chipmunk. He is never invited to sit on my porch but he just seems to be getting braver and braver. This particular morning as I was grasping peace with both hands, Gus Gus hopped up on the porch and just stared at me with his creepy little eyes. I, of course, screamed and pulled my feet up into the chair like a giant fire-breathing dragon had just swooped in to eat me for breakfast. My scream sent Gus Gus back into the landscape and my peace went flying away with him. I just couldn’t settle down again, so I packed up my stuff and went into the house.

After I sorted the laundry, I realized that I was the problem, not Gus Gus. I felt a little ridiculous when I owned up to the fact that I had let a chipmunk ruin my peace. I laughed even harder when I realized I truly was in HIS space, not the other way around. Isn’t that just like life? We get a wrinkle in our peace because something happens that we don’t like, and then we go huffing off frustrated with someone or something, presuming they messed up our peace on purpose.

I decided that if I really did want to live in peace and be like that little boy sleeping in my arms, I had to choose to be peaceful. So I poured another cup of coffee, turned on the washer, grabbed my Rosary and went back to my spot on the porch. Knowing that God has a great sense of humor, I asked him to teach me to choose peace, even if the lesson involved a member of the rodent family. I will admit, I looked over to that corner of the porch a hundred times, you know, in case I needed to fire a cannon or call in the National Guard to protect me from the creepy invading enemy. Halfway through my coffee, just as I settled down and regained my peace, Gus Gus came back . . . with a date!

Now, before I could scream or call in a SWAT team, into my head popped a scene from the Mickey Mouse Christmas movie where Chip and Dale were trapped in Mickey’s Christmas Tree and it was making Pluto crazy. Thank you, Father, for that little helpful image; it was pretty clear that I was Pluto! I haven’t seen that movie since the 3 little Wohlferts were tiny so I knew it was the Father using the teaching tool I respond to best: humor. I smiled and thought, I get it . . . don’t be Pluto; choose peace! Needless to say, I have a new summer project.

A Seed To Plant: How will you choose to LIVE in peace this week? Make a list of the things that have put a wrinkle in your  peace recently and ask God to help you make a plan to bounce back from chaos to peace quickly. Don’t worry; He’ll hear you!

Blessings on your day!

Copyright 2017 Sheri Wohlfert

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About Author

Sheri is a Catholic wife, mom, speaker and teacher. She uses her great sense of humor and her deep faith to help others discover the joy of being a child of God. Her roots are in Kansas but her home is in Michigan. The mission of her ministry is to encourage others to take a good look at the simple ways we can all find God doing joyful, blessed, amazing things smack dab in the middle of the laundry, ball games, farm chores and the hundred other things we manage to cram into a day. Sheri also writes at JoyfulWords.org.

4 Comments

  1. My sister has a front porch that WELCOMES rodents like Gus Gus! She leaves out a china tea cup full of nuts and seeds, then photographs him! Seriously. The chipmunk brings her peace!

    I just love the image of the sleeping baby in your arms…it made me think how we are all children in the arms of Christ, and even as He holds us, we startle, jump, swing our arms about, and spiral into chaos. Even when He holds us.

    The wrinkles in my own peace are not in rodent form (dare I admit, like my sister, I enjoy them) but rather, in HUMAN form. CHILDREN form, to be more exact. Their troubles and difficult circumstances and moods…these are the things that pull me out of His peaceful arms. These are the wrinkles that unravel me quickly.

    I am going to remember this beautiful picture you have painted for me this week…or to be more realistic, let’s say this day…one day at a time. I sure do like the idea of living in peace. Thank you.

  2. Oh my you are so right Laura…it’s all about “peace for the day” isn’t it! Who am I kidding, sometimes its even “peace for the moment!” Prayers for your peace…and I’ll try to think of Gus Gus with the same affection you and your sister would! Blessings on your day!

  3. Loved your story about Gus Gus. We all need to find our peace in each day. Living one day at a time and in the present. Thank you for sharing.

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