Church Innovations’ Partners Post

December 4, 2009

End of the 40-Day Search for Peace, Abundance, Shalom: Learning #2

When FDR said, “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself,” he was leading a country in a depression, with high stress on every system and a lot of nervous people.  Yeah, much like now.


In my last entry, Learning #1, I revealed that I tend to focus on the Big Ugly things that stand between me and the peace that I seek. I think succumbing to a focus on things that keep me from the shalom that God means for everyone is much like falling victim to Fear Itself.  Fear Itself not pretty, and it can hide the beauty of a lot of other things, too.


When children are young, they may dread going to the dentist. That dread can poison everything else for weeks until the visit takes place. Our dentist in the days when our daughter was young knew this dread very well, and hired a hygienist who could squirt a thin stream of water from her little rubber hose up to 10 feet across the room directly into someone’s mouth. It was amazing. Shocking, even. It shocked the dread right out of you and made you want to see it again. It was also funny.


Learning #2 is that fun and play help me notice peace, abundance, shalom. Shocking, amazing, risk-taking laughter breaks up Fear Itself. It shrinks Big Ugly obstacles to the size of small rocks. I’m also far more interesting when I play than when I don’t play. I may even be more trustworthy. I know I appreciate the risk and trust and fun in others more when we play together.  How much playing have you done recently? Have you laughed – not just because it’s your habit to laugh when you’re nervous – but really laughed?  When I laugh, my breathing, my muscle tension, and my blood pressure change. And in the midst of a laugh, I often notice peace, abundance, shalom.


Try these two one-liners, just for a start:

Timing has an awful lot to do with the outcome of a rain dance.

What do you call a fish with no eyes? A fsh                    : ) 

Peace. Pat


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