Peace. Easy feeling. Energized. Whole. These are the ways you feel when things are as they should be. As a follower of Jesus, we can look at his life to discover how we might attain to and get that peaceful, easy feeling. Jesus himself was at one with God. He had moments of alone time, talking with God. Moments when he was in the Hebrew Bible and debating those who had different ideas of what it meant to be a peace with God. He served those everyday with whom he interacted. He had close friends who believed in him, shared meals with him, and interacted with him on a daily basis. He worshiped every weekend at the synagogue or the Temple. He was a man at peace with God.
Jesus tells us how to be at peace as well in Mark 12:30-31. He says, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength….love your fellow human the same way.” If you are going to allow Jesus to beautifully interfere with us, in what ways do you fulfill Jesus’ calling? I wanted to take a minute to pull back the curtain on my life. While I don’t profess to have all the answers and I am still discovering how to be better transformed into the image of Jesus, here are a few things I do to lean in personally to the calling and I’ve found it to bring me peace and a centeredness that nothing else has done.
In John Ortberg’s Soul Keeping book, he talks about a discussion he had with Dallas Willard. Dallas explains our life has concentric circles. He explains it as follows and I’ll add what I do to discipline these areas of my life.
Dallas says the inner most circle is your WILL. Based on Mark 12, I call it heart. I love to sing. I do a lot of singing in my car while driving. People may look at me funny at any given red light but I just smile because it centers me. Every day, I’m also in the Word of God, becoming intentional about the person Jesus has called me to be. This summer I spent a lot of time in Ephesians. In Ephesians, Paul reminds us of what God has done for us which should lead us to a life transformed. I also love to hang out with friends who encourage and live in uplifting ways. My goal is to surround myself with positive Godly influence. If you are a negative person or always talking poorly about people, you don’t get any time with me. I love creating with my hands. I am made in the image of the Creator so I believe we are called to create. I have a company called Weathered Canvas. You can find it on FaceBook.
The next circle is your MIND. I train my mind by reading both spiritual books and God’s Word. I’ve got written goals published on my desk so anyone on staff can hold me accountable. One of my goals is to read 20 books this year. I also write a blog once a week (which you are reading) and I’m writing my next book. I also teach a parenting class and a marriage class during the course of the week.
The next is your BODY. I committed to working out each week although I’m not doing it as often as I hoped. I have a membership at the local YMCA with my wife. We also walk a three mile stretch around our neighborhood when weather permits. I have committed to getting better sleep so I try to go to bed about 10:30pm every evening. I also try to not eat everything I see, especially after 8pm.
And finally, the last one represents your SOUL. I have a realization that my soul is connected to God so it’s at the center of who I am. It pulls together every other piece of me to fall in step with the story God has set out for me to live. Deep down, my soul longs to be connected to Jesus and people who are also moving in that direction. By doing all three of the things above, I better reconcile myself to become more like Jesus day by day.
Each of these pieces of me, heart, soul, mind and body, come together to make the whole me. It was all created to give God glory and fall in love with Jesus. When you commit to giving God glory in every aspect of your life, it’s only then that you’ll discover peace. My hope is you’ll commit to transformation. It doesn’t have to be over night but one move in a positive direction one day is the step needed to create change in you. Blessings on your journey.