"Choosing Peace" by Sheri Wohlfert (CatholicMom.com) Via Pixabay (2015), CC0 Public Domain

Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts…Colossians 3:15

I was holding one of my new great-nephews the other night at a family gathering and as I was staring down at his perfect tininess, I couldn’t help but remember my own kids sleeping in my arms years ago. I was enjoying my trip down memory lane as I watched this little “boy wonder” sleeping so peacefully in my arms when out of nowhere, a loud noise woke up the little man and  instantly he was crying and kicking and flapping his little arms around. In a split second he went from complete peace to frightened chaos. The crazy thing was that just as fast as he got wound up, he calmed right down and went back to sleep. In a tiny second, he had completely gone back to peacefulness. I realized it takes me much longer to settle down after someone disturbs my peace!

It has been a quiet summer and I’ve had the chance to spend many minutes on my front porch enjoying the peacefulness of a quiet country morning or evening. The morning after I held my great nephew I was sitting on my porch and I read a quote that said, “Why do we only REST in peace and not LIVE in peace too?” When I put the the two together it seemed like a recipe for change. I thought about how quickly that sweet baby boy went from calm to crazy and back to calm and I thought about how peace just seems to be reserved for vacation and those rare moments when the chores are caught up or we’re too pooped to do anything but flop into bed. That doesn’t seem quite right, does it?

I sat right there on my porch with a cup of hot coffee and a prayer book open on my lap thinking I was going to be all over this “peace” stuff and then it happened! I lost my peace. One second I’m all peaceful, like that sleeping baby, and then right up out of a Hosta Lily in the landscaping came Gus Gus the chipmunk. He is never invited to sit on my porch but he just seems to be getting braver and braver. This particular morning as I was grasping peace with both hands, Gus Gus hopped up on the porch and just stared at me with his creepy little eyes. I, of course, screamed and pulled my feet up into the chair like a giant fire-breathing dragon had just swooped in to eat me for breakfast. My scream sent Gus Gus back into the landscape and my peace went flying away with him. I just couldn’t settle down again, so I packed up my stuff and went into the house.

After I sorted the laundry, I realized that I was the problem, not Gus Gus. I felt a little ridiculous when I owned up to the fact that I had let a chipmunk ruin my peace. I laughed even harder when I realized I truly was in HIS space, not the other way around. Isn’t that just like life? We get a wrinkle in our peace because something happens that we don't like, and then we go huffing off frustrated with someone or something, presuming they messed up our peace on purpose.

[tweet "What puts a wrinkle in your peace? Invite God to help you bounce back from chaos."]

I decided that if I really did want to live in peace and be like that little boy sleeping in my arms, I had to choose to be peaceful. So I poured another cup of coffee, turned on the washer, grabbed my Rosary and went back to my spot on the porch. Knowing that God has a great sense of humor, I asked him to teach me to choose peace, even if the lesson involved a member of the rodent family. I will admit, I looked over to that corner of the porch a hundred times, you know, in case I needed to fire a cannon or call in the National Guard to protect me from the creepy invading enemy. Halfway through my coffee, just as I settled down and regained my peace, Gus Gus came back . . . with a date!

Now, before I could scream or call in a SWAT team, into my head popped a scene from the Mickey Mouse Christmas movie where Chip and Dale were trapped in Mickey’s Christmas Tree and it was making Pluto crazy. Thank you, Father, for that little helpful image; it was pretty clear that I was Pluto! I haven’t seen that movie since the 3 little Wohlferts were tiny so I knew it was the Father using the teaching tool I respond to best: humor. I smiled and thought, I get it . . . don’t be Pluto; choose peace! Needless to say, I have a new summer project.

A Seed To Plant: How will you choose to LIVE in peace this week? Make a list of the things that have put a wrinkle in your  peace recently and ask God to help you make a plan to bounce back from chaos to peace quickly. Don’t worry; He’ll hear you!

Blessings on your day!

Copyright 2017 Sheri Wohlfert