Church Innovations’ Partners Post

December 10, 2009

End of the 40-Day Search for Peace, Abundance, Shalom: Major Learning #3


Learning #1: I excel at concentrating on obstacles to peace

Learning #2: laughter and fun can beat Fear Itself, a big obstacle


Seeking peace, abundance, shalom stayed abstract during most of my quest’s waking hours. Peace, abundance, shalom – these are ideas, ideals, even, unconnected with the realities of things like driving a car or planning a training event. Until something made me remember I was on the Peace Quest. Which would then again escape my conscious thoughts until I would be reminded of it in some odd way.


I was driving along in heavy merging traffic, waiting my turn to get into the lane I would need to be in a mile or so later. As I finally merged, I remembered South African drivers’ habit of saluting, with a tiny cordial wave, the person who had let them in. So I did that. And the guy waved back. This so delighted me that when another person tried to enter the lane just ahead of me, I let her in and smiled as I did it. She lifted her hand to wave, and I waved back. There was a tiny three-car wave of abundance in that far right lane entering the Lowry Tunnel in Minneapolis.


After 40 days of this occasional attention to the quest and then the focus of the quest going back out of view, you would think that I would have put a habit into place to help me keep my focus upon the object of my search. You would think that, wouldn’t you? Someone once called that “keeping The Main Thing the main thing.”  This is Major Learning #3, something which I didn’t do very well during the quest: I need a habit that reminds me of what I am seeking, something I can do many times a day until it’s, well, a habit.


Getting such a habit may be my next quest. It might surprise some people to learn that I spend a lot of time being reactive; I am probably far less proactive than people expect. As life gets faster and change intensifies, I believe I could become even more reactive. But seeking and extending the peace is proactive work. To do it well, I will need some spiritual habits that keep me focused but open, habits that allow me to remember and look forward while still staying in the now.


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