Peace – Not a Fruit of Performance

Oh, how I desire a closer relationship with my God, the ultimate teacher and restorer of my soul. More time to focus on Him and his presence. But you see, the way MY life is set up, distractions lurk around every corner. There’s no time! My life is an endless to-do list. Always more to do than time allows. An enemy of the clock I am. Constantly behind with more people, more things pulling for my attention. Chocking my breath.

Surely I’m not alone in this. The woes of modern life. Tick. Tock. It feels out of control. Overwhelming.

More and more, however the Lord is revealing to me how much I control these aspects of my life. I am not at the mercy of a to-do list. I’m living the life I created. A realization sets in. I created this life myself.

The Energizer Bunny

I can remember at least back to my teen age years, having an inner disposition of constant anxiety, busyness, unrest. A condition of the fallen man. I call it my little energizer bunny, that makes it almost impossible to rest. Even in moments where I am not physically doing something, my mind is constantly toiling, thinking, stressing, planning, worrying … adding one more item to the list. I’m already so busy but this thing, it’s really important. I see an open spot in the calendar. Two weeks from tomorrow, in the afternoon. I don’t have anything at that time yet – I pencil it in.

Realization – In this state of mind, I am my own God and I’m not even any good at it. It’s exhausting. I can’t breathe.

I recall what the bible says, Romans 8: 5-9.

Those who live according to the flesh have their minds set on what the flesh desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires. The mind governed by flesh is death, but the mind governed by the Spirit is life and peace. The mind governed by the flesh is hostile to God; it does not submit to God’s law, nor can it do so. Those who are in the realm of the flesh cannot please God. You, however are not in the realm of the flesh but in the realm of the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God lives in you.

I created this energizer bunny to deal with life independent of God. An inadequate cooping mechanism to manage my pain and build up my self esteem. If I’m always doing something, I never have to face my pain. If I’m always doing something, I feel accomplished … boastful even.

Fruit of the Spirit

In my life separated from God, I convinced myself that joy and peace come from doing. If I do all these things, get all these things, I will be happy. Have you ever thought the same? My counselor, Pastor Kay, calls it performance based acceptance. But now that I know the Truth. I know joy and peace come from yielding to the Lord. They are not a fruit of my performance but a fruit of the Spirit of God that lives in me.

I can’t tell you how I got here but I’m so glad to be here. It’s the best thing that’s ever happened to me. He’s teaching me to sit still. I hear his voice guiding me. He started me with daily, one hour blocks of time where I sat in my bean bag and did nothing but listen to Him; not a youtube sermon, not a praise and worship song. I listened to his voice, soaked in his Spirit. And yes! My mind was an unruly mess when I started. It took months to I learn to clear my head of the junk and make room to hear His voice.

Today, I graduated to a half day “time out”. Again with this longer time, I fought distractions – I’m hungry. Should I throw a load of laundry in the wash? This is a good time to send my friend a text. I even slept for half of it.

I’m learning not to fight my mind, fight my self. Instead I seek God and yield. I let everything else go. I realize, the distractions serve a purpose. As God deals with each distraction, He brings peace and they naturally go away. I simply have to keep showing up to my “time outs’.

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