Thursday, December 20, 2012

Finding Peace in an Age of Apocalypse


Courtesy Mad Penguin Creative

Silence comes hard for writers even when stories are too young to tell. I have been in a hurry for my words to catch up with my journey. God, however, is not bothered by my impatience.

In the midst of these puzzling, wordless days, I am keenly aware of his presence. Yes, the same God with whom I have so painfully wrestled here on the pages of this blog. That God. He inhabits this silence.

Some days I panic and fret over blog stats and goals. I wonder if I have destroyed my online presence because I don't worship at the altar of the social media gods often enough.

My heart begins to beat heavy until it throbs in my ears. “You cannot grow your brand in silence,” the Type-A me tells the wordless me. “You'll never be one of 'those' savvy bloggers because you just aren't prolific enough. Why you don't even have a free printable, and at this rate, you never will! You'll never catch up.”

I breathe in the God-filled silence long and slow trying to drown out the panic. I hear rhythms of life I have not heard in eons. (Yes. I am that old.)

Courtesy Mad Penguin Creataive
When a gas-powered leaf blower three yards over stalls, silence deafens me. Slowly, I can hear again. The scritch-scratch of my rake becomes hypnotic allowing other sounds, long ago sounds, to seep in.

The sounds of a heel tapping to keep a swing in motion melt into the eeee-awww sounds of the swing groaning and complaining as it responds. The breeze lifts my bangs. A wet towel snaps in the wind and a clothespin squeaks as it closes over the towel. Sounds of the past wash me away.

I realize I have been so caught up in the race of life, I have lost the
rhythm of living. The unfamiliar quiet is as eerie as it is comforting. I breathe in the God-filled silence and know he is there in the absence of words. I know it is o.k. to wait because I am waiting on him. 

Courtesy Mad Penguin Creative
 I feel words begin to emerge again. Then, news explodes with the awful reality of a hopeless world. Twenty little faces taken from twenty homes even as  we sing about the most magical time of the year.
                                     
Silence seems the only appropriate reaction because there are times words just fail.
These days of mourning require a singular silence of the soul.

One does not have to embrace the
end of the Mayan calendar to know: we live in an age of apocalypse. Suffering, violence, disease, and mayhem abound even as society is the most advanced, educated, and interconnected the world has ever known.

Media offers a litany of answers from gun control to doomsday prepper survival bunkers. Politicians pontificate and jockey for airtime. Big business promises a shopping rush to distract us while big pharma offers a pill to calm us. Psychologists warn that the fragile among us may do exactly what the troubled young man in Connecticut did as December 21
st approaches – react in desperation.
Courtesy Mad Penguin Creative
                                   
There is but one answer for a fallen world calling out for solutions to save us from ourselves. Long ago a child was born to die. In his death, he would bring meaning and purpose to a sinful world. As he faced a certain death, he knew we would face questions that had no sane answers. 

He left a message of hope that will survive beyond the end of the Mayan calendar:

Courtesy Mad Penguin Creative

John 16:33 (The Message)I’ve told you all this so that trusting me, you will be unshakable and assured, deeply at peace. In this godless world you will continue to experience difficulties. But take heart! I’ve conquered the world. 

Romans 8:38-39 (Amplified Bible)
For I am persuaded beyond doubt (am sure) that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities, nor things impending and threatening nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation will be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.


18 comments:

  1. Wise words that speak straight to the heart. You keep listening to God. You write only when he tells you to write and what he tells you to write. You do not need any freebies to draw people in. Your words will do that. Loved this.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Can you send me that in a memo every day? ;-) Thank you for your sweet encouragement!

      Delete
  2. My friend, your words... leave me speechless. I love you.

    ReplyDelete
  3. WOW! oh WOW! I am SO honored to be the first one to comment to this heart stirring, heart grabbing, REAL post. Thank you so much for sharing...it stirred me to tears. Oh how blessed we are to have...and to personally know...that very God of HOPE in these desperate days. Thanks for following God's lead and sharing these thoughts so beautifully. May God bless your socks off this CHRISTmas season...and make your blog stats surprise you. ;-} God bless you - I am thankful I saw that my friend Tabitha shared a link so I could find this lovely writing. You are gifted for sure. And you have blessed my heart greatly.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Oh, bless you back! I have been out all day and unable to post my blog comments. While yours was not the 1st time-wise, it is certainly dear to me. As much as the 'me, me me' in me wants to 'hit the blog big-time', my truest hope is that those looking for and wrestling with faith will find me, know they are not alone, and find peace in Christ.

    ReplyDelete
  5. I understand the struggle with self-talk that we're not like (fill in the blank) And when people talk about what we have to do to be successful, I can be disheartened. But God's been reminding me lately that He has plans for me that are different than what He wants someone else to do.I have to remind myself of this.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ellen, I think we all struggle with that sense of how much is enough. For me the rate of change in technology is overwhelming. I'll never catch up and that nearly drives me nuts at times especially as I try to define my mission and how to accomplish it. Like you, I have to slow down and say, "Am I pursuing what God called me to do?" If not, what I'm doing won't succeed anyway, so why am I driving myself nuts? I think it may be a battle I'll always fight!

      Delete
  6. Beautiful post, Carol Anne. Thank you for wise words about being quiet. I don't do silence well, but I think my word for 2013 is ponder so looks like I'll get some practice.

    Love, love, love the song "Mary Did You Know?" My favorite during this time of year.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank YOU! Not only did you show up, I'm actually getting my comments posted and replied to. It must mean the end of the world for sure! About the time of BRMCWC, I felt as if God was saying, "Study to show yourself approved. Be quiet. Be still. Study." So, I write in spurts which drives me nuts, but I know I am being obedient. Let me know what you discover as you ponder in 2013!

      Delete
  7. What a wonderful post to capture the truth in this season...

    ReplyDelete
  8. Thank you for sharing this. I have felt these same things recently. I have had some health issues to deal with, and I just couldn't keep up with everything. I opted to rest and let the blog slide. I will do more writing soon. Everyone seems to be giving me grace in this season.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I often think the one from whom we receive the least grace is the one from whom we needed it most freely granted...ourselves. I don't know how some folks crank it out the way they do. I really don't.

      Delete
  9. "I realize I have been so caught up in the race of life, I have lost the rhythm of living." Wow. Powerful words, Carol Anne. Thank you for the confirmation I needed!

    Christmas blessings...

    ReplyDelete