Peace on Earth and Hurry Up

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Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests. Luke 2:14

Hurry and peace must surely be antonyms. They aren’t listed in my hefty antonym book for writers, but I suspect it is just an omission.

John Ortberg shares in his book Soul Keeping that his mentor, Dallas Willard, was emphatic about one thing: Ruthlessly eliminate hurry from your life. Everyone who knew Dallas felt calmed and centered in the moment while they were with him, due to his cultivation of this personal discipline.

I am afraid I have the opposite effect on people. Around me, they likely feel they need to achieve more, do more, and by all means, do it more quickly.

My best mirror to assess this is my children, and especially during the holiday season. Even now as I write, my fingers rapidly flying across the keyboard, my littlest one is leaning up against my back, needing me to slow down and comfort her.

“Are you almost done?” she asks with a sigh.

She is longing for peace. The peace that happens when we stop and just refuse to hurry. The comfort that comes when we take time to really see others, to listen and be present. When we do that for each other, we glimpse the Prince of Peace who carries all our burdens, who is never in a hurry to get away from us.

Christmas is about the God who stopped, refusing to hurry, and came near.

He saw us for exactly who we were and what we needed most, and he made Himself present. He established peace for us on a quiet night when a baby’s birth would not be hurried, but happened exactly when it was intended, according to prophecies from ages past.

The promise seemed slow to those longing for it.

God did not appear to be in any rush. But his timing was perfect, and when he stopped to look us square in they eyes on that cold night, He brought peace that can never be taken away.

Slow down with me this Christmastime, and see the people around you. Let’s listen and draw near, and look into the eyes of Peace himself.

Lord, help me slow down and see You. Open my eyes to others and make me an instrument of Peace, not hurry, this Christmas. Amen.

About Audrey Frank

Audrey Frank is an author, speaker, and storyteller. The stories she shares are brave and true. They give voice to those whose words are silenced by shame, the hard things in life that don’t make sense, and the losses that leave us wondering if we will survive. Her upcoming book, From Shame to Honor, is an outpouring of Audrey’s heart to introduce others to the God of Instead. You can also find Audrey at her website, Twitter, and Facebook.

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