As the school year is wrapping up and commitments are ending, it seems like I am once again being presented with a choice on what my schedule is going to look like in the months to come. Because, just like the fall and spring, the summer season can have a busyness all of its own. In fact, it can often become more hectic as we try to fit everything in! There are so many good things to choose from and we can easily fall into the temptation of being everything to everyone. It is so hard to opt out of something or decline an invitation when it seems so positive.
As I have been trying to spend more time in concentrated prayer for my children, I recently have begun thinking about family goals and the choices we make to accomplish them. It is so easy to imagine what you want or what behavior is expected without even thinking twice about how our choices promote different outcomes. The choices we make each day have a direct correlation to the lives we will lead and the families we will raise.
Let’s choose to become Peace Promoters in our home.
I was explaining what it means to promote something to my son. I instructed him that each member in our family was going to become “Peace Promoters.” We were going to do everything we could, by the choices we make and the activities we plan, to encourage peace. Now before you get all excited, this has nothing to do with compromising our values and ignoring truth. Jesus says clearly that He gives peace. When He was on earth and going back to Heaven, He told His disciples that He will leave His peace. “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid” (John 14:27). This is the peace, I want my children to promote. No weird flags necessary.
This charge came to me as I was praying, along with the reminder of Mary in the Bible. Mary knew and practiced the peace that Jesus gave; even in light of criticism, she allowed this peace to rule in her heart and transform her behavior. You see, Mary and Martha (her sister), were included in a lot of wonderful opportunities. They were in no way hidden from the chance to fill their calendars. They were considered friends of Jesus! There is one meal that has become quite popular. Nothing like some sister disagreement to excite us women to pay attention! Martha was doing a wonderful thing, serving Jesus. I’m sure she had a lovely home and planned a wonderful meal. Jesus never actually told Martha that she was sinning. He did not condemn her. When she appealed to her, He simply observed that she was worried and anxious. That, sister, is where she strayed. Martha was very loving in her service. It’s when her activity became her anxiety. It’s when her serving strayed to striving. Then, she was overcommitted and choosing something less than what was the best. In peace, Mary sat at the feet of Jesus. She was fixed upon Him and able to receive her portion. She was not worried about earthly activities and meals and parties. Mary desired to be filled by Jesus (Luke 10).
Service and activities are not wrong, in themselves. It’s when activity becomes anxiety. It’s when serving strays to striving. Then, you become overcommitted and choose something that is less than the best.
Regardless of what happens during each day, a Peace Promoter remains at the feet of Jesus, allowing Him to be their portion. Even wonderful opportunities need to be checked for the markings of what they will promote in your home. Each choice we make and activity we sign up for will affect our home.
Do you accept the invitation from Jesus? Do you take hold of His peace?