do you want more calm in your life?

. . . what I have argued for, is to make the terrain we live in a little more familiar, slower, quieter, and peaceful. If I could pour calm in my pots I would. If by them I could make people a little happier, feel a little more as friends and family, or be a little more tied to community and God, then I would. – Ron Newsome

This quote comes from my cousin’s husband who is one of the most at peace people I have met over the years. He is a former helicopter pilot that served in Vietnam and now he and my cousin live in a beautiful part of east Alabama and he makes beautiful and very functional pottery (check out his Facebook page here).

“If I could pour calm into my pots I would.” What a thought. He, like many of us, realizes that a good dose of calm is what most of us need. We often live frenzied lives rushing from one thing to another and not even noticing the people around us nor the wonders and beauty of God’s creation all around us. What is worse, all that frenzied running around produces little but stress, anxiety, shallow relationships, and a deep sense of discontentment in our lives as we know something is not quite right.So why do we do this to ourselves? Pride, trying to please or impress others, the expectations of our culture, or maybe sometimes we just don’t know how to live a life of peace.

Now, don’t get me wrong, having peace in your life is not about retreating from life. It is more about choices. It is about centering your life on Christ and resting in him. It is about noticing and engaging with the people around you and truly building community. It is about looking on God’s creation with wonder and amazement at His creativity. It is about creating margin in your life. One of the best ways to start developing that sense of contentment is to first take your eyes off of yourself and place them on the Lord and others. It is amazing how things change when you change your perspective.

So, why not change? What is all this frenzied running about really gotten you so far? What is stopping you?

Now, one of my favorite closings of Paul’s epistles:

“The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holt Spirit be with you all.” 2 Corinthians 13:14