Thursday, November 20, 2008

The Beauty of Your Peace

Dear Lord and Father of mankind,

Forgive our foolish ways!

Reclothe us in our rightful mind;

In purer lives your service find,

In deeper reverence, praise.

Drop your still dews of quietness

Till all our strivings cease:

Take from our lives the strain and stress,

And let our ordered lives confess

The beauty of your peace.

John Greenleaf Whittier (1807-1892)

 We’ve started singing this song at my church recently, based on the above hymn by John Greenleaf Whittier.  I ran across the original text during my reading of “Let Me Be a Woman” by Elisabeth Elliot in her chapter on self-discipline (excellent book, by the way) and may end up painting this quote on my wall someday; who knows?

As Christians, our lives are to reflect the glory of God (Col. 3:23, 1 Cor. 10:31), and that includes, as Whittier says, “the beauty of your peace.”  I’ve had some discussions with my roommates on this topic, too, and have realized that this is a heart issue—if we know the beauty of his peace, we will want to reflect that in everything, including, I believe, one’s life, home, schedule and conduct.

This is something I’ve really struggled with simply because it’s not easy.  Things like planning for your week, keeping your house orderly…they all take time, work and discipline.  I have a long, long ways to go (anyone who knows me can attest to this), but I’m convinced it’s worth it.  At least in my case, my soul feels better when my life is organized.   While it’s not always easy or fun to strive for the discipline of order, it’s necessary as I try to show “the beauty of his peace” in my life and home. 

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