Wednesday, 1 October 2014

Shalom V Chaos


Have you ever had one of those mornings, when things did not go smoothly?   Well, I had one of those mornings very recently.  Now, I learnt a long time ago that I am not a morning person and so, if I have to go out in the morning, then I need to have things pretty much sorted the night before, and I had done that.   But, I didn't factor in things not going to plan, as they did this particular morning, and so it was a chaotic morning. 

I turn on the computer so that I can quickly check the weather, to see if today's excursion to the park with other mums and children is going to happen.    Aaaah, the computer is not working properly.   Why now?   I have to head out soon, but I need to know whether we're going to the park, or I need to contact people. 

In the meantime, it's feed little people, dress them, tidy up the kitchen, have a shower without the toddler destroying something or herself, but I can't check the weather.   So, it's text one of the mums who's coming to the park with her kids and find out what the weather is doing in town, in between fiddling with the computer cables to see if something is amiss, washing up, cooking toast, making beds, finding the clothes I had put out, keeping an eye on the toddler and answering her many, many waffly comments, which just get louder and louder until she gets a response.   After much frustration, I ring the local computer techies that my daughter used to work for, and the girl assures me I don't need to bring it in, it's just a cable out of whack.  Just find it and fix it, and it'll all be fine.  Yep, sure.   Or, turn the computer and modem and router off, back on and wait and see what happens.  

Okay, back to texting, ringing the other mum, washing up with the now luke warm water, picking up the toddler's messes, keeping an eye on the time, retrieving the clothes for everyone that the toddler has now spread everywhere, finishing breakfast, blah, blah, blah.   Breakfast finished, have a shower, while the 5 year old watches Sesame Street, with the toddler locked safely in the bathroom, answering her many comments about various parts of my anatomy, and try to figure out the many little things I need to remember as I head out the door, remembering too that the much-needed rain has stuffed our plans and will make the drive over 12km of dirt road 'interesting'.  Out of the shower, and check the computer - yay, it's working!   Quick check - the weather is going to be much the same all day, so the venue changes to Maccas - not nearly as nice as the park.   Oh well, another text and phone call to say I'm going to be late, the road is 'interesting' though not dreadful, just enough to slow things down even more.   I'm very grateful for the rain - we need it badly - but why today?   Did I not listen to the Lord well when I sought Him for when would be a good day to catch up in the park?  Maybe He wanted us to meet at Maccas.  I don't know.   I want to get it right, to avoid chaos as much as possible, and it frustrates me when I get it 'wrong'.  Maybe I didn't, maybe God had other, better plans. 

This morning was chaotic.    I want to write about chaos, this kind of chaos.   But, I also want to write about the kind of chaos that is deeper than just a chaotic morning - the kind of chaos that sometimes leads to that kind of morning, but more than that, to dysfunctional relationships, harsh words, unreal expectations, turmoil, unforgiveness, ill-health, etc.

The Lord has been speaking to me a lot about chaos and Shalom - they are at opposite ends of our experience and we generally live somewhere in between, sadly more often closer to chaos than Shalom.  But, Shalom is what the Lord wants for us, so I want to learn what that Shalom is and how to get there and stay there, as much as possible. 

Well, we all know what chaos is, but what is Shalom?

According to Strong's Concordance 7965 Shalom means completeness, wholeness, health, peace, welfare, safety, soundness, tranquility, prosperity, perfectness, fullness, rest, harmony, the absence of agitation or discord.

Shalom comes from the root verb shalom meaning to be complete, perfect and full.

Shalom is being at peace in every area of our lives.

Do all those words fit your morning, your day, your life?   Mmmm, maybe occasionally they all fit, but more often than not, they don't. 

My plan was to do this great research project on Shalom and put together some kind of theoretical precis on it all, publish it here, and move on.   Not going to happen.   God is much more interested in my living Shalom than learning about it in theory, so I hope to share with you what I'm learning and how it's changing my life, our lives, and perhaps it will help you recognise the chaos in yours and move closer to His Shalom for you.

Isa 26:3   You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in you.  NIV

Isa 26:3 Thou wilt keep him in shalom shalom, whose yetzer (mind-set) is stayed on Thee; because he trusteth in Thee.
Linking up at Thriving Thursdays

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