Peaceful and Quiet Lives

Have you ever longed to do something big with your life? You know to change the world in some tangible, distinct way?  

We are doing a study in our Ladies Bible Study Group by Jen Hatmaker. It is about unraveling God’s call on our life. I love her approach because she brings it all back down to earth and makes it simple.  I think sometimes we shut ourselves down before we even get going. Often we are looking for something big and overlooking what is right in front of us.
As I have been reflecting on today’s study, this verse from 1 Timothy 2:1-2 came to mind.” I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people—for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness.”

It takes a lot of pressure off to think of living a “peaceful and quiet” life.  It feels doable. I look at that verse and think “ I actually might be able to accomplish that!”  It brings the dream of living for God and having an impact down to a completely manageable level.  I don’t have to shift my whole life in order to accomplish this. I don’t necessarily have to uproot my family and go to some third world county or have some superhuman skill set. I just have to be where I am, doing regular life.  
To live peaceably and quietly means to avoid quarrel, to be free from violent conflict. Watching the leaders of churches walk alongside those who were rioting in Baltimore is a great example of this. Their actions were peaceable. It can mean living in ways that strive to bring people together. There are loads of ways this can be lived out. It may mean when someone does something silly in traffic I refuse to give them a mean look. It may be as simple as letting the young Mom with little ones who are about to melt down take the grocery check out line that is shorter. Or maybe spending some time with someone who is lonely. It could be as simple as looking for ways to show interest and care for the co worker who drives everyone a little nutty at work. It may be taking a look around my neighborhood and seeing who can use some of the “fix it” skills we have.

The transforming of my life into a godly and holy life is up to God. That is his work. It is accomplished as I get to know and love him more. I love that these verses comes under a heading entitled “Instructions for Worship”.  As I love God more and more, my desire increases to be like him. As I make God my priority, he shapes my life to reflect him more. That is what worship is. It is living to honor God.

I only need to remain in him and live peaceably and quietly.

It looks like normal people living normal lives. It can be simple. It can be manageable.  But it is counter culture. Instead of having my eyes focused on me, I am looking out. Instead of getting caught up in image, cloths, toys it means looking at others. It means looking past myself and looking at what those around me need.  It takes intentionality to live this way. Focused intentionality.  It is normal for me to be consumed with me, my life and the people in my circle.  It takes focus and intention to live looking out.  It changes things. Sometimes, I will slip into old habits. Routine check points to make sure I am on track are important.
The beauty of this is that as I do normal life, God does amazing things. I may not ever know all that he does through me and that is okay. When I live for God, he can accomplish his kingdom building, I get to be a part of it. I get to be a part of changing the world.This is what gives each day purpose, this is what gives deep joy and a sense that I am part of something bigger. This is where adventure begins.

It begins simply and manageable. It begins peaceful and quiet.

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