I used to really love driving.
Years ago when I got out of high school I drove everywhere and anywhere my friends, or the concert, or the party was at (usually to the other side of the state).
One of my best friends and I used to drive to Grand Rapids and back every week.
That same friend and I drove straight through to Orlando last year just to meet some of our podcast heroes!
Even Crazier was when we drove straight through to colorado with no place to stay (so I know about driving long distances)!
What I really want to talk about though is Chicago and Peace.
It’s been such a crazy and busy year and because of that I have not really gotten to go many places.
If you have been around me at all in the last few months you know I had this itch in my soul to go somewhere.
Last week it finally happened!
We drove to Wisconsin, Chicago, Grand Haven, and Sandusky Ohio and let me tell you I’m a bit tired of driving (I sound so old in this one).
Chicago was crazy.
I’ve been there a few times before and I really love that city, but if you know Chicago you know it is very fast paced.
It is busy and it never stops (very different from Detroit).
I really wanted to experience the beauty of the city and to be present in it.
I tried so hard to look up with wonder at the buildings and all that was going on but I had such a hard time especially with getting caught up in the flow and busyness of the people all trying to get where they needed to go and it just would not seem to let me slow down.
No matter how hard I tried, distraction and rushing from place to place was inevitable (Pokemon Go did not help much either).
Sometimes we get into different places, stages and circumstances in life where it can seem we are caught up in a flow or routine that maybe we do not want to be in or it’s bad for us. We struggle trying to be present and not just let life happen to us or carry us away.
To really live abundant and full life.
In the last few months I have had a really hard time getting out of a flow that was not good for me. It felt like life was happening to me and I was along for the ride.
Actually it took a real shock in the last month to wake me up!
Not that I was asleep but I was so restless and frustrated with knowing I was not doing what I was supposed to do and not doing anything about it.
Can anyone relate?
I just was not at peace.
With myself, my situation or others really.
There is a story in the Bible (Mark 4:35) where Jesus and His disciples are in a boat during a storm.
The disciples are freaking out!
They are caught up in a flow carrying them away.
Caught in a situation they did not want to be in they went down and found Jesus sleeping on a pillow.
They ask him if He even cares that they are all about to die!?
So Jesus gets up, says to the storm “Peace. Be Still”, the storm stops, He drops the mic and walks away.
How could He do this?
Where did Jesus get this kind of authority?
How is it that He was able to rest in the midst of these crazy circumstances?
I have a word I made up for the kind of sleep that is so good, refreshing and empowering, despite whatever is going on in your life.
I call it “Jesus Sleep”.
Where you are not phased, and when you are awake you know that despite all that is going on around you that everything is going to be ok.
It is like you are in a new flow that is greater.
Really Sabbath is what it is.
Have you ever heard that word Sabbath?
It is a Jewish thing.
On the seventh day they were commanded to rest in such a way that they were not even allowed to work or make food or do laundry.
That sort of thing would drive some crazy today but it had a brilliant point to it.
Do not do a thing.
You have let go of control and schedules and lists.
Know that your world still turns without you.
That it is not in your hands but the whole world is in His hands!
This can be very freeing.
In fact it can free you up to really rest, and in that rest you can find powerful peace.
You know how at Christmas we sing about peace on earth good will toward men?
What if that is where it starts?
When you find yourself in this new flow where there is powerful peace, good will toward one another is how it spreads.
There is a scripture people misquote a lot.
It says that “God is not a God of disorder but of peace” (1 Corinthians 14:33).
He does not promise order or that storms will not come, but there is peace through resting in Him through the chaos.
Real and abundant life is to be at peace with God and yourself.
My pastor told me the other day that “peace” or “shalom” in hebrew meant to them to destroy the authority establishing chaos in your life.
We can do this by rising above it.
If you are living from the chaos you will get swept away in it, but when you are living from rest in the One who in the beginning hovered over the chaos (Genesis 1:2), you will automatically be above it.
This world has a pattern, a flow.
I was in a different pattern and flow when I used to drive everywhere all the time.
It is an easy one to get caught up in.
Hung up on busyness, keeping schedules or world news that is out of our control.
Outrage is easy too, but it does not help.
There is however, another flow that we can all be in when we rest in the One who holds it all in His hands and is not phased by it.
Who brings peace in the storm and meaning in to the meaningless.
If you are reading this and you don’t know Jesus as one who can bring peace in your life I’d like you to.
Ask Him to show you.
He will show you a peace that surpasses anything I can understand, put words to or imagine.
He is that good!
Just rest in Him.
Let go of the things we try to hold onto so tightly that have never really been in our control to begin with
This kind of peace is something that gives me hope for it all.
To know Him is to know rest and peace and life and hope!
Some amazing friends and I are starting an organization on Monday called Everything Is Light with the purpose of communicating stories of great hope through all sorts of different mediums.
Also we will be selling lamps!
They are pretty cool.
I made this one yesterday.
Til Monday we will be doing a countdown to launch our site and we would love for you to be a part!
So get excited with us and come see us Monday at EverythingIsLight.org