And aspire to live a tranquil life, to mind your own affairs and to work with your hands… 1 Thessalonians 4:11
There is a great story about a frazzled business woman who hustled through her last morning of a business trip, skipping lunch in order to catch an afternoon flight home. As she rushed through the airport she realized she hadn’t eaten all day so she quickly grabbed her favorite snack, a king size Kit-Kat bar as raced toward her gate. She plopped down into her seat on the plane just in time for take-off. In complete exhaustion, she dropped her bag, buckled her seat belt and closed her eyes to relax a minute. As she sat there quietly trying to gather herself, she heard the sound of a candy wrapper. She peeked out of one eye and saw the man next to her eating…you guessed it…a king size Kit-Kat bar! She was too livid to even speak so she sat with her eyes closed absolutely fuming for the rest of the flight. She pondered the rude, bold, inconsiderate behavior of the man sitting beside her the entire flight until she nearly shook with anger. When they landed she grabbed her bag and huffed off the plane without even looking at the guy. She proceeded to the baggage claim area where she once again met up with this candy bar stealing man, her anger and disgust boiling up all over again. As she stomped past him indignantly she noticed he had just purchased a huge delicious looking muffin. She put all her emotions into full swing and reached out, proceeded to take a giant bite out of the top of the muffin and then return the bitten muffin back into the man’s hand. He stood in stunned silence as she marched past him to the parking lot feeling completely satisfied at the way she had settled the score! As she tossed her bags into her car, her bag tipped over spilling its contents all over the back seat and much to her astonishment, right before her very eyes she saw…yup…you guessed it…a king size Kit-Kat candy bar!
This lady was anything but tranquil and she was so busy jumping to conclusions and making judgments about the character of the guy next to her she couldn’t see past her own anger. If we were to put Paul’s words to the Thessalonians into modern day language, it might sound something like; slow down, mind your own business and get to work! I suppose it doesn’t matter if the message was to the first Christians or to Christians in the year 2013, it’s still good stuff! Good advice doesn’t get any more bottom line than that!
When we get frazzled and overloaded like the lady in the story, we don’t see things clearly. We tend to let our attention drift to issues that really aren’t our business. It’s hard to keep our focus on the Father when we’re so discombobulated! So what’s the answer to making sure we follow St. Paul’s advice? Be peaceful, worry about yourself and do the work God has given you the gifts and talents to do. I know when I get overwhelmed, I have to stop and ask myself if I’m filling my to-do list with MY tasks or HIS? It’s not our job to worry about the work of others and seek justice if we think things aren’t fair. Like the lady in the story, sometimes we seek justice and we may not know all there is to know. The antidote to crazy, frazzled, peace stealing stress is in the first few words of the passage “live a tranquil life”. There’s only one way to do that and it’s to rest…rest in Him. When we rest in Him, that peace will allow us to do what He has planned for us, not what He has planned for someone else. So before you take a bite out of somebody else’s muffin ask God to slow you down and be tranquil!
A seed to plant: Make your to-do list and pray over it before you attempt to check anything off. At the bottom of the list write the words, Lord, don’t let me bite anybody’s muffin today!
Blessings on your day!
Copyright 2013 Sheri Wohlfert
About the Author
Sheri is a Catholic wife, mom, speaker and teacher. She uses her great sense of humor and her deep faith to help others discover the joy of being a child of God. Her roots are in Kansas but her home is in Michigan. The mission of her ministry is to encourage others to look at the simple ways we can all find God doing amazing things smack dab in the middle of the laundry, ball games, farm chores and the hundred other things we manage to cram into a day. Sheri also writes at JoyfulWords.org.