Church Innovations’ Partners Post

December 16, 2009

End of the 40-Day Search for Peace, Abundance, Shalom: Major Learning #4


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

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

Learning #3: I need a habit that reminds me of what I am seeking


If what is true for me is also true for many others, then we can generalize from my first three learnings: those who seek the peace of God will be distracted by fearsome big obstacles, aided by laughter and the joy of play, and helped to focus by habits that keep them paying attention to the Main Thing.



Those may be useful learnings for anyone who is reading this blog. I really want to know what you think, so if you have a story to share, please do it! Post a reply here or e-mail me at



This next learning may be solely about me, although you may relate to it, too.  Often I find myself in a situation where I need something and so I go looking for it, knowing I have it somewhere not far away but not being able to lay my hands on it.  Sometimes I look for a long, long time.  The longer I look and the more urgently I seem to need it, the more anxious I get.  And when my anxiety rises, the Big Ugly obstacles are right around the corner, waiting for me. It’s exhausting.



At Church Innovations we spend a great deal of time in Luke 10: 1-12. As Jesus sends the 70 others to towns and places, he tells them to “say ‘Peace to this house’ and if a person of peace is there, your peace will rest upon that person – if not, it will return to you.” We are actually sent into our lives carrying God’s peace, abundance, shalom, with the instruction to extend it to others.  If we meet other persons of peace, we’ll see it rest on them. If not, it comes back to us.  We are in the enviable position of always HAVING the peace within our sight. We never have to be without it. I spend a lot of time looking for the thing I don’t have to be without. 



Make no mistake. God gives us God’s peace for a reason – we’ll need it. There is anxiety and danger and misery around us. But we actually bear the peace like little tiny lights shining in the darkness.  As the days of December grow shorter and darker and you receive all those wonderful Christmas cards, every time you read one that says, “Peace,” know that that word is not just a holiday sentiment – it is a reminder of the peace God has given to us that we cannot lose, no matter how clumsy or forgetful we are. We can stop paying attention to it, but it is there, waiting for us to notice where it lands. 


Learning #4: Maybe we should learn from Luke 10 that, when we’re not sure where the peace is, we should extend it to someone else and then pay attention to what happens.  We will see it if we look!










  1. The learnings definitely apply and appeal to me!

    Lacking in peace about several big things (aiming for understatement there) I decided to spend Tuesday skiing at Afton. Didn’t have the money or the time and hadn’t skied downhill since 1991.

    The high was 4, so I nearly had the place to myself until 3:30 or so when the high school teams started showing up (poor kids!). Skiied all day, and laughed, cried, prayed, and sang on the chair-lifts.

    Amazing how a day of unrelieved fun has changed my outlook on some of the obstacles/challenges. Amazing.

    I will check back to see what you decide on as a habit to remind you of what you are seeking; this is such a timely challenge for me too.

    The CI newsletter and your article led me here. Thankful I came.

    PEACE, friend,


    Comment by John Ogren — December 17, 2009 @ 9:50 am

  2. Fantastic comment, John. Thank you for it.
    At the Christmas party this year Caroline and I presented the staff with toys for an office toybox. Balloons and flying monkeys were whizzing around the living room, and Daniel showed us how to juggle (our equivalent to skiing in the office).

    Thanks for your interest and support of my quest to now put the learnings to habitual work. May your several “big things” become clearer in this season of hope and expectation. Peace to your house, friend. Pat

    Comment by ptellison — December 21, 2009 @ 9:54 am

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