Peace and Priorities
The cramp started in my left foot. It was in the arch. And it was firming up with each passing second. It was crying out for attention.
“DON’T MOVE!!!!!” The stern, authoritative, threatening voice of the technicians (all 4 of them!) resounded in my head. The huge x-ray machine rotated around me. I lay as still as a mouse.
It wasn’t just the warning of the technicians that was ringing in my ears. I knew that these x-rays were important…they were part of the calculations for the next 8 weeks of radiation for the cancer in my body. Any small move on my part could mess up the whole treatment.
I surveyed the room with my eyes. To my right hung a huge monitor with my personal data. I couldn’t understand a thing about all the formulas, but I understood my name and my picture. To the left hung a similar monitor with large numbers, in different colors, some of which were blinking. Important things were taking place. This was no picnic in the park.
As my private battle between the cramping arch and the threatening instructions raged, the loudspeaker played another oldies song. “Let there be peace on earth….and let it begin with me.”
I thought how much that song and my private war are like Life.
Life demands priorities….constantly affirming or rearranging priorities.
And if we are to have peace in our life, we must each make peace by choosing priorities that generate peace. The Apostle Paul wrote, “As much as is in you, be at peace with all men.” At Jesus’ birth, the angels exclaimed, “Peace on Earth…Goodwill towards men.” The Holy Spirit, sent by Jesus, resides in those of us who claim His Name and works out the peace of Jesus in our lives.
Having now attained some small measure of maturity in life, I’ve learned the value of just letting it go. In my younger years every little thing seemed so important. And small issues became mountains upon which to take a stand. There was no doubting my sincerity. I wanted to serve the Lord with all my heart. I wanted to be obedient to the Scriptures without compromise.
But I had not yet learned there are priorities, and much of the small things in Life will pass. My Grandmother, who lived to be 105, knew this. “It will pass” are comforting words of truth. And if we will attend to this truth, we will save much energy….and much destruction.
The Apostle Paul didn’t spend his energy on little cramps in the foot. He looked to the big issues, the important issues that dealt with the general health of the Body. He looked to Love, to Grace, to Purity. He didn’t waste his time and energy on passing fads or petty issues with people. He looked to the Gospel.
As the song wound to its conclusion and the x-ray machine stopped its rotations, I realized the cramp had subsided. At some point in my meditations my foot muscles had relaxed and the crisis had passed.
How much that is like Life. When we meditate on the Lord, seemingly important little crises will pass. And the Body is spared a costly mess-up.
“Let there be peace on earth….and let it begin with me!”
December 21, 2009