The slip of the moon shines through the slats of my window blinds, and three lines below – the morning star bright and clear. December days lack in daylight, but the advantage is that the pink sunrise arrives at a respectable 8am. A sense of peace prevails, as I smile back at the moon.
Peace defined as: stress-free state of security and calmness; a freedom from disturbance, war or violence. Peace, a word we toss around this season, as we light the second Advent candle and wonder how does this message of Peace on Earth, Goodwill to Men, pair against the late night newscast and our own videos that play in our heads.
Just over six years ago, I met Mitch (not her real name) at the drug clinic I worked at. Dr George, the founder, asked if I would spend some time with one of his most challenging clients, a young woman with a troubled past, and an addiction of mass quantities of her current prescription choice. Perhaps I could take her out for coffee, now and again. Little did I know … Over many coffees and conversations and trips to the emergency department, I got to know Mitch fairly well. At one point she told me that there was a constant battle going on in her mind between an angel on her right shoulder and a little devil on the left. Clearly the left was winning. She illustrated for me what Paul wrote in Romans 7: I can will it, but I can’t do it … I decide to do good, but I don’t really do it. I decide not to do bad, but then I do it anyway. She is not alone in this mind battle; it is one thing when I am fighting the extra chocolate cheese cake in the fridge, or an overdose of barbiturates.
It has been said that time heals all wounds, it can also be said that time wounds all heals. Unless we come to terms with what has happened in our lives, we cannot stop the whirling activity of mind. I thought I would be celebrating Christmases with a large family, three children, and the grandkids adding the extensions so all could fit around the table. It was not to be. And the voices in my head could whirr on …. It has become my daily choice to accept that my life has not turned out as hoped or expected, but there is still much beauty in life. There is a depth of beauty I had not known before. There is a peace that comes when I realize that I am not in control.
I have long said that you can get scriptures and statistics to support any cause. I also have the gift of misinterpreting the ancient words. (It is not mentioned in most spiritual gift listings.) In the NKJV, Phillipians 4 says: Be anxious for nothing … I took that to heart. For many years I would be anxious for nothing, wondering if I’d said the right thing, got involved here, donated to the right cause, and the anxious for nothing list went on. This Advent as I ponder the candle of Peace, I am reminded that my great battle for peace is for peace of mind; and I need to practice my Mind of Peace-my Mop. With my Mop I sweep the doubts away. *I choose to accept my life as it is, not how I wish it was, *I choose to see that there is much beauty in this world, and *I choose to believe I need help in this war. I practice this Mop, this mind of peace with the help of the Prince of Peace.
Peace – one of the greatest gifts of Advent.
Jocelyn is author of Who is Talking out Of My Head, Grief as an Out of Body Experience
Recently someone reminded me of Simon & Garfunkel’s version of Silent Night with the newscast as background; 48 years later it still haunts. Here are 2 links, the first one with the newscast visual, the second with only the 1966 cover album. the links: