Be still and know that I am God. – Psalm 46:10
Stillness is not a trait of our society. AM/FM radio, HD radio, SiriusXM radio, Pandora, iTunes radio, Spotify, Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, LinkedIn…and whatever else you may be looking for, well, there’s an app for that. But this post isn’t about busyness or the things that divert our attention away from peace. It’s a little broader than that (at least in my mind).
I think one of the hardest things some people do is stay where we are. The grass is greener elsewhere, right? I am a “spiritual person” and I spend time thinking about how and where God wants to use me. (I put spiritual person in quotes because I’m not exactly sure what it means-for me it simply means I seek knowledge and direction from a higher power who works through me.) Those thoughts have often led me to seeing things I could do in other places, both near and far. I have certainly had people encouraging me to get out of the house/community I am in. Move away. Start over. Find a new direction.
For some people that is the right direction. I believe, for me, that has not been the right advice. I believe I have been led to stay right where I am; to work in the mess that is all around me. I believe I am led to stay right in the middle of a life where people have spoke falsehoods about me, where people have questioned my motives and my choices and where I have lost so much, been attacked and wounded. I believe I have been given an inner strength to withstand the blows I still feel at times, to withstand the rumors and looks I get or believe I get at times.
I have a desire to be a peacemaker and peacemakers are not needed where there is no conflict. As convoluted as it seems, I believe I am right where I am supposed to be to use the gifts I have to help people find peace in the midst of storms. If I can do it in my own life, I am a living example that it can happen.
Fortunately, I am blessed by people around me who are examples of sticking. I have two couples who are very dear friends who have stuck when it appeared it would have been easier to split. I have found a wife who has led me to experience joy and thankfulness in the very place where I once felt hurt and sadness. Staying where I am has brought about many good things in my life even when it seemed it would be easier to go somewhere else.
It may be one of the toughest decisions I have made is to stay where I am. I think it may be my calling to stay and to show people how peace can be found, even created, by making the choice to seek peace and to be strong in the face of conflict.
Staying has not been easy at times while also bringing someone into my life that convinces me staying was exactly the right thing and exactly where I was led. Staying may not always be the right decision and my life isn’t the pattern for everyone else. I know others are led to go and I applaud the courage that takes. I also want to applaud those who stay because that takes a lot of courage too.
Grace and peace.