Church Innovations’ Partners Post

November 30, 2009

End of the 40-Day Search for Peace, Abundance, Shalom

Filed under: Uncategorized — ptellison @ 10:48 am

My 40 day quest for peace, abundance, shalom, has taught me a couple of things, which I’ll share with you in the next few entries. Major learning #1: I am not good at seeking a moving treasure, but super skilled at something else.

Peace, abundance, shalom can be found almost anywhere, but it is often seen in small encounters, like a series of dance steps completed amid a sea of other moving dancers. When you are one of the other moving dancers, you must almost stop, look around, crane your neck to notice it. Sometimes you are looking from a balcony and you can see it. But when you’re down on the dance floor, it’s easier to miss it unless you find yourself in it and extend it to someone else.

 

Peace, abundance, shalom is easiest to see in relationships. It is almost as though something physical, tangible, passes between two people when there is a fullness of connection. They are paying their full attention to each other. They are not holding back or blocking up the flow through the pipe so that just a trickle flows between them. They are undammed, and the peace is a woosh between them and from them to others, not peace-and-quiet peace but abundance.

 

Looking for this peace is not like finding Waldo in Where’s Waldo? because 1) Waldo keeps moving, 2) you are not looking at it from outside, as you do when you look into a book, and 3) since you are in the picture, too, you also are moving.  You can find it. You can even be in the peace. As long as something Bigger and Uglier does not continually get in your way.

 

That, my friends, is one major learning from this quest: I often focus, but not on the moving treasure that is peace.  No, I am super skilled at focusing on Big, Ugly things that block my path.  And I have learned in the past 40 days that if you keep paying your undammed attention to the path blockers, you will run out of energy before you get to participate in the peace and abundance.  While it is important to solve problems, I am learning that it is more important to find, extend, and receive the peace, abundance, shalom that is a sign of the life of the Triune God.   

 

Peace to your house. Pat Taylor Ellison

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