One of the perks of working on a University campus is getting to enjoy the college life schedule… which means things like “Fall Break” exist. As we just finished our much needed and anticipated Fall Break (because college life schedule also means a lot of all nighters), today is a particularly Mondayish Monday. God who both is infinitely wise and lives outside of time mercifully ordained our Fall Break Sunday readings to include a lot of talk about wine and a favorite passage from Philippians 4:
Brothers and sisters:
Have no anxiety at all, but in everything,
by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving,
make your requests known to God.
Then the peace of God that surpasses all understanding
will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.
Aaaah. Right. I forgot--because Monday. This letter from Paul is always a great pick me up for #motivationmonday. It is such a deceptively simple verse we sometimes gloss over it… our eyes tend to glaze over those verses about “trust” and “our help being in the Lord.” We know it is true in our heads, but our hearts and our blood pressure and whatever it is that causes that hair to stand up on the back of our necks and our palms to sweat sometimes has trouble catching up.
Paul presents us with a simple math problem. Confidence in God comes from Prayer. All we have to do is make our requests known to God with thanksgiving. Prayer + Petition (Carry the Thanksgiving) = Peace. Peace comes from Prayer. Peace comes from Prayer. Peace… wait, this is starting to actually sink in through my all-too-often hard head. We delude ourselves into thinking that if we just work harder, color code everything into the perfect planner, and do everything perfectly we will find peace. And when we do all of those things we often find ourselves thinking we don’t have time for prayer. “Once I get my life together… then I’ll pray.” Peace comes from Prayer. We have to stop and pray. We have to take the time. This reminds me of a favorite quote from one of the other 4Ts we are so fond of here at Ask Aunt Katie, St. Teresa Benedicta of the Cross (Edith Stein):
Let go of your plans. The first hour of your morning belongs to God. Tackle the day's work that he charges you with, and he will give you the power to accomplish it.
So you haven’t spent that first hour in prayer… you may have spent it in bed scrolling through newsfeeds, catching up on the latest headlines, or saving another healthy recipe or two that you’ll never actually try but it feels like dieting to click save. It’s okay. Stop what you’re doing right now and give God 5 minutes. Start with 5. Tomorrow morning set that alarm 10 minutes earlier. Give Him that 10. We can build up to that hour over time. Peace comes from Prayer… not from posts. Not from shares. (But since you’re here…)
Keep on doing what you have learned,