Dawn Tolbert

Writer
#366Days Faith Reflections Writing

Can I tell you a secret? – Day 2 #366Days

Social media noise graphic

I’ve gotten into a really bad habit lately.

More days than not, I find myself reaching for my phone to check social media, email, or the Internet before I’m even out of bed. And it seems like without fail there’s something there to upset me. Depressing–often downright frightening–news, snarky posts on social media, so many opinions that folks are “just putting it out there.” Rather than getting me fired up with my own opinions, most of it just makes me sad.

Deep, heartfelt sadness.

That happened this morning, and it nearly short-circuited this post, nearly sent my mind spinning in a completely different direction. And that would have been a shame. You see, I’d planned to write and tell you about the Silent Communion service we had last night as part of our church’s Christmas celebration. I wanted to tell you how the beautiful strains of music celebrating the Promised Messiah danced amid the glowing lights on the Christmas trees, how these wonderful handmade banners told the stories of the Shepherds and the Wise Men, and how, as the music washed over me, my mind was filled with a simple message:

Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. Not as the world gives it, do I give to you. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.

 

Sometimes it seems that we rush and rush and look everywhere for answers and the still, small voice of the Promised One is drowned out by the noise of our world. This Christmas, what if we focused instead on the words of the one Isaiah 9:6 tell us is the “Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.” What if we didn’t only listen to Him and for Him at Christmas? What if it became our daily habit, something we turned to even before those smart phones we like so much?

I often find myself mindlessly singing “We need a little Christmas,” but this year, I truly need a little peace. Anyone else?

 

4 Comment

  1. Dawn,
    You are so on target! Lately I’ve been checking my FB first thing each morning for health updates on 2 children I’m following – Jada and Brecklynn. I see beautiful sunrises shared by friends, prayer requests, early morning devotionals and scriptures, and other uplifting posts. Then, there’s the negative. It makes me wonder what kind of day they will be having. Maybe they should have been at our Silent Communion Service last night.

    1. Y’all did such an amazing job at Silent Communion! Larry and I are so thankful that our church has such talented musicians who share their talents so freely. Thank you for all you do!

      The negativity in our world depresses me. That’s really why my friend Dana and I started our project ThePinkTypewriterProject.com. There’s so much bad out there, and we want to contribute to the good.

  2. Oh Dawn, how we hover on the same wavelengths! Guilty of the morning sass-dose, myself.
    Each Advent Sunday, I get the K-2nd graders to carry down a small banner with the day’s “theme” on it and hang it near the advent candles. On Sunday morning, as I was doing a quick reminder/run through with them, I realized “peace” , unlike “hope” or “love”, was a hard word to describe to them. I finally said “you know when you are hurt, or worried, or sad, or frightened, and someone you love and trust puts arms around you and says ‘it’s ok, it’s ok’ and you know real quick they are right and you feel better right then inside? That’s kinda what God whispers in our heart when we trust Him. Peace is the ‘it’s ok-ness’!” They seemed to get it; we carried on with other details of the morning service.
    Fast forward 12 hrs, and I’m in a hotel 6 states away, trying to prepare for a Monday morning presentation for work, stressed, with new last minute curveballs interjected as to the customer audience and topic and scope, blah, blahblah…and I’m working myself into a fabulous tizz of indigestion and panicky breathing ….when I realize: I’m choosing to ignore the “it’s-ok-ness” that is freely and constantly wrapped around me by the Father, and instead let myself be shoved and shaken and distracted and lit ablaze by the stuff of this world. There’s a responsive reading that Gloria Gaither put in the Majesty hymnal, and the refrain is “Take His peace, take His peace!” She’s so right; we have to actively seek it!

    1. We do have to actively seek it!!! You are so right. It’s a gift He offers freely to us, like His love, grace and mercy, but we have to accept it and willingly receive it. All day I’ve had the words of an old hymn running through my mind: “Oh what peace we often forfeit, Oh what needless pain we bear, All because we do not carry everything to God in prayer.” I cringe to imagine how much peace I have forfeited in my life. I need that “it’s ok-ness.”

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