AWARENESS OF THE NEED FOR PEACE
The definition of awareness is ‘knowledge or perception of a situation or fact’. At times, we go through a struggle without the knowledge of why. Today was one of those days for me. I found it extremely difficult to be at peace. My surroundings were filled with noise. So I packed my things and moved to the reference library to get total silence. There I found the air conditioner was making a noise, someone was coughing and my cell phone was vibrating. No matter where I went, the noise was following me, and new noises disturbed my thought process. Then came the realization that peace never will be found outside, but comes from within. No matter where we go or run to, we will not receive peace without the Prince of Peace, through our Lord Jesus Christ.
AWARENESS OF HEALTH
A couple of years ago, I had a contract at a health club. I quickly came to realize that getting a health club contract doesn’t make me healthier or slimmer, but using the gym regularly and changing my eating habits does. The same goes for our Spiritual health. We cannot expect to grow spiritually if we do not use our Bibles and put our faith into action. Our spiritual and physical health walk hand in hand – using energy generates energy. When we exercise, we feel better within ourselves and have energy to do more. The same is true with our spirituality. Making time to read Scripture, pray, reflect and meditate is food for our soul. This enables us to live better lives and to cope with stress.
AWARENESS OF RELATIONSHIPS
God enables us to do far more than we think we can. In forgiving we are forgiven, but forgiving starts with accepting God’s forgiveness. When we appreciate what God has done for us, and that He loves us unconditionally, we only can pass that on to others through His grace and merciful compassion. The Golden Rule to treasure concerning relationships is,
“Whatever you wish that others would do to you, do also to them, for this is the law and the Prophets.” (Matthew 7:12)
This is about treating others with the same respect, love and dignity we would like to receive.
AWARENESS OF SITUATIONS
Sometimes we plan our future, but it doesn’t always go the way we’d anticipated. Don’t you just hate it when that happens! We might wonder if God has deserted us during those times, but the truth is He never leaves our side. Our situations are strengthening tools for our faith. We grow in total dependency on God and draw closer to each other. God uses our negative situations to show His power and providence. We make mistakes, but God uses the mistakes to teach us something meaningful. It’s usually to show us something we need to change within ourselves and to teach us a better way forward. These lessons then can be shared with others, to lead and guide them on their journey. We often leave a situation enriched by the experience.
AWARENESS OF OUR GIFTS AND VISIONS
If we don’t know what our goals, visions, gifts and purpose are, we will find it difficult to move forward and improve. I’ve come to see how important planning and having vision boards can be. It is putting a blank piece of paper in front of us and allowing the Spirit of God to lead us forward. In doing so, we avoid giving in to distractions, procrastination and living in confusion. We focus toward something, no matter how impossible it seems, for ‘all things are possible with God’ (Mark 10:27). We also need to be aware that establishing goals that cause burnout is not God’s plan and purpose. Time with God is the most important goal on our list. It’s time to find balance, reflect and recharge our energy. As a computer and cell phone needs electricity to work, our bodies run on empty if not plugged into God’s Spirit.
Thank You for making us aware that peace comes from within. I pray for Your grace to seek You face to face, to face the year ahead. Speak Lord, Your servants are listening. Amen.
“Come to me, all who labour and are heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”