From behind my bedroom walls I hear the truck engines rolling into place.
At 6:30 a.m., the cement begins to churn.
I realize it must be the day our new neighbors are spraying gunite over the rebar frame of their pool. Having installed a pool in a former house, I know it can take a long day of labor, filling the pool with water quickly so the material can cure and slowly cool.
But it has certainly stolen the serenity of my quiet, wooded and secluded home.
I used to brag about how well I slept in my new home.
I have to remind myself that this is temporary during construction.
I am constantly under construction.
For me it is not temporary.
Funny thing is, recently, the construction of my heart has had me focused on peace.
I have been thinking a lot about peace.
And it hits me that even though people often use the phrase, “Peace and Quiet,” I’m not sure they are always married, or even live next door to each other.
When Jesus tells us that He gives us peace, He doesn’t promise the “quiet” to go with it.
In John 14;27 (NIV) it says…
“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives.
Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.”
There is no mention of quiet.
But He “left” peace with me.
That means He entrusted me with it. He left me in charge of it… like a gift.
So if I receive it, then I am responsible for it.
What should I DO with the peace that I am given?
How can I remember to use it?
How can I share it?
How can I live in it?
How can I realize it?
Especially when there is all this noise?
It is so much easier when it is quiet.
But the verse in John 14 says, “not as they world gives…”
When I think about how the world around me gives, it is…
…expecting something in return
…watching to see what I do with the gift
…telling me what to do with the gift
…re-gifting the gift
…not appreciating the gift
…throwing the gift away
…worshipping the gift
From one extreme to the other, often the gift becomes an object rather than the love intended behind it.
Jesus provided His gifts freely, without condition, always available, and at His own expense.
He intended the gift to be for our good.
And for today, I need to choose, even in the all day noise… and I do mean all day… I need to choose to walk in peace.
There have been quite a few times that I have had to leave the house. I have had to exit through my garage and drive past all the ruckus and commotion. Trucks coming and going, bringing new loads of supplies for this massive job…
And each and every trip, I have had to close my mouth and guard my tongue, knowing that if I speak words that are negative about this noise, I will lose my peace. Even if it’s not quiet!
So I decided to focus on my shoes!
You’re probably thinking… she’s done it now.
She’s lost her nut. She’s changed the subject and has lost focus.
But Ephesians 6:15 is part of a section of verses about the armor of God that we are to put on every day. And it says…
“For shoes, put on the peace that comes from the Good News so that you will be fully prepared.”
So I started thinking that…
If I have been GIVEN peace,
and if I am putting on the SHOES of peace,
then I should be walking in…
…taking each step in…
…stepping into the path of those around me…
family, friends, strangers…
in my shoes if peace!
I am equipped to give the peace away as well.
To show it.
To share it.
To gift it.
Jesus lives IN me.
That’s how He reaches and gives His gifts to others.
How can I speak harshly or argue?
How can I gossip or speak negatively about another?
How can I complain?
How can I lose my peace even in the midst of all this noise…
If I focus on my shoes of peace!
I’m not saying this is easy.
I’m not saying that I have this all covered and worked out every day.
Believe me, I mess this up often.
But I’m trying.
I’m thinking about my actions and my words… or lack of words. Every time I look down at my shoes.
I decided, even in the noise, or lack of quiet, that if I was quiet… or rather didn’t use my words to complain, I actually kept the peace that He gave me.
That’s kind of funny. Don’t make noise IN the midst of the noise.
So here’s to Peace and Noise!
You will NOT believe this!
The construction is over.
God is so funny!
God is so Good!
Peace and Quiet… for the moment.