“When people ran into Jesus they had good reason to remember the encounter. Sometimes he infuriate them; sometimes he made perfect sense; and sometimes he did both. Regardless, those who encountered Jesus left challenged, knowing the possibility of the kind of peace that the world had never offered before.
“Peace requires God-saturated behavior. Peace refers to a state of being more than a state of mind. Peace is an action word. That’s why Jesus said, ‘I do not give to you as the world gives.’ Jesus settles the troubled heart, sometimes by troubling the settled life.” – Reaching Toward Easter, p. 40
- Jesus settles the troubled heart, sometimes by troubling the settled life.
Quite often – especially when I go back and read stuff I’ve written in a book – I realize what a long distance I tend to live from my own teaching! This particular quote, from a chapter titled “God-Saturated Behavior” is a prime example.
You see, I’m all about “the settled life.” Nothing floats my boat like being comfortable. “My icon of temptation,” I wrote in GET REAL: a spiritual journey for men, “is the easy chair.” My constant unspoken prayer goes something like this: “please don’t complicate my life, Lord.”
To be honest, I’m a lot like Bilbo Baggins in the opening scenes of The Hobbit. “No adventures for me, thank you very much,” he insists; “I’ll take a cup of tea, an easy chair by the fire, and a good book” (paraphrase).
But that approach to life stands at odds with the imperative of the Gospel. And I should know this, because every time Jesus has unceremoniously dumped me out of my chair, my reticence, and my comfort zone, I have grown not only as a disciple, but as a complete human being.
Life experienced on God’s terms is a Great Adventure! And peace – real peace, not as the world gives – tends to show up as part and parcel of living like we mean it, far more than occupying that tepid state of spiritual inertia that accompanies my desire for an untroubled and carefree life.
So you say you want to experience real peace? To know the peace that passes understanding? To be free from anxiety and stress and self-doubt? Well, follow Jesus! Bust out of the narrow confines of your own carefully managed definition of comfort! Throw yourself in with the Prince of Peace, the Guide to the Great Adventure.
When Jesus says, “Trust me…” Just do.
Jesus settles the troubled heart, sometimes by troubling the settled life.
“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled, and do not let them be afraid.” – John 14:27