If You’re Swept Up in the Chaos, Find Peace on the Shore
A few months ago, my son and I stood on the banks of the river that flows through our area. After torrents of rain had flooded it this spring, the river was rushing wildly with such force it was breathtaking. My son periodically threw sticks and pine cones into the water, then stood in awe as those items were caught up in the swirling madness and swept away so quickly that it frightened us to think of the danger if a person ever fell into that rushing deathtrap.
As I reflect on that now, I realize that people fall into that deathtrap every day, without even realizing it. Our world and our current culture are just like that mighty rushing river. Society today moves at such breakneck speed—always on the move, “gotta go,” gotta do,” “gotta find” – always telling us we need to do more, be more, seek more, buy more, achieve more. Is it any wonder that many of us feel swept away in the current, unable to get out of the swirling madness, barely able to keep our heads above water? We watch our real dreams, the purpose and destiny God had planned for us, fly right past us as we rush by on this insane wave, allowing ourselves to be carried to some destination that will never fulfill us.
And yet, so few of us stop and ask ourselves, “Why do I continue in this madness? Why do I stay in this rushing current? Don’t I have a choice to get off?” The answer is a resounding, “YES!” You can pull yourself out of the deathtrap that is exhausting you physically, emotionally, and spiritually. You can instead choose to walk on the shore – God’s peace is waiting for you there. You can’t hear His voice when you’re in the roaring waters, but you’ll hear his gentle, loving whispers if you’ll join him on the quiet paths where he always intended you to walk.
When our culture sweeps us up in its frenzied, raging madness, God holds out a million branches to grab onto — if we’re willing to grab on and save ourselves. One of the biggest branches he offers us is the powerful word, “No.” You don’t have to do it all, accept every invitation, solve every problem your friends bring you, serve on every committee, volunteer for every event, accept every promotion, take on every project, strive for every new gadget, or sign up for every opportunity that is offered to you. That is the deathtrap of our culture today. Choose wisely what you allow in your life. Be discerning in what you say “yes” to. Be mindful of the emptiness and insanity that “busyness” brings to your life. Ask yourself where you feel most peaceful – in the rushing, unsettled waters – or in the restful, quiet refuge on the shore? Then… resolve to grab the next branch and save yourself — before you’re swept away to places God never meant for you to go.