I'm pondering my habits and routines and prepping for new goals and accomplishments... The constant diligence to be joyful and peaceful has been in my mind. And I've wondered if since it is necessary to be a "diligent effort," have I actually accomplished any ground in this area? Shouldn't peace and joy be more "natural" in a truly peaceful person, rather than a constant labor? Even my Twitter handle purports that I am a "Funtologist in the full time study of peace and joy." The certification as a Funtologist is self-given & the office is self-ordained; merely another of my efforts to never settle in a bog of any kind. The title is a constant reminder to prioritize the search above the current experience.
In my prayer and pondering the scripture came to me... "Seek peace and pursue it." This is of course talking about a lack of contention in relationships. But it applies across the board.
Peace is not a "natural" occurrence. Not since sin entered the world has peace been the default. Chaos is the default and peace is the concerted effort.
Not only am I (& you may apply this to your own life as I write in context from mine) not a loser for daily doing little and big things to be peaceful and joyful, but the efforts are in fact the ONLY thing that makes me NOT a loser! Ha!
Seek peace AND pursue it.
The wise men in scripture who are famous for having brought gifts to the Christ-child had a habit of seeking the night sky. Some nights the stars were hazy with cloud cover, other nights the "ordinary" was all too clear. But they diligently, night after night, went through the ancient efforts of setting up tools and making notes in parchment. If not for that constant state of "seeking," they wouldn't have caught sight of the extraordinary.
And then we find even further direction when looking at their story. I can imagine their booyah-moment at having discovered such a unique thing! Yet they went BEYOND the wonder and excitement of seeing something unusual and spectacular. When they caught sight of that special-something, they went to great lengths to pursue it.
Seek peace and pursue it.
From Bible reading & prayer, to conversations & healthy habits, to massage and holidays... We must keep our eye on the sky, diligently mapping the matter of peace. That one would seek it so earnestly is not proof of failure. It's the part He approves of and will honor. So seek through the darkness. Sift & seek through what is ordinary. And when we catch a glimpse of something special dogged pursuit is quite necessary. For that is the only way to come to that place of miraculous birth.
And then repeat...