No, I’m not talking about Kony 2012, or the Middle East, or any of that; though those are good causes. I’m talking about “the peace that surpasses all understanding” and the fact that I don’t seem to have it.
Christ teaches that he is and will be our peace; that by dwelling in him, giving him our cares and worries, we will experience peace in all aspects of life. Even in mundane things like mowing the lawn, or tragic things like death, sickness, and deprivation. Oddly enough, sometimes I think I would be more at peace in the midst of an apocalypse than I am in my daily life.
I am a type A, take charge, full speed ahead, high energy gal. I was also diagnosed with ADHD at 9 years old. This surprises a lot of people–usually those who haven’t had either ADD or ADHD, or had to live with someone who does. Growing up I learned fairly easily to be physically still (to an extent. I still doodle during class to have something to do with my hands) but being mentally still is far beyond me. Combine that ADHD with a
professional/academic lifestyle in today’s world, with schedules, meetings, deadlines, commutes, traffic, emails, txts, IM, Skype, homework, books, articles, celebrities, Facebook-Google+-Linked In, social games… are you exhausted yet? We (I) experience a non-stop cycle of fire-hose sensory input (especially mental and visual) and of expectations. We are expected to be online; we are expected to engage; we are expected to also do the homework/legwork and show up at the meeting on time, in style (or at least presentable), with something to say; oh, and there’s that whole personal life aspect that includes a reasonably clean house, laundry healthy eats, a car with gas in it, movies, bars/cafes/clubs, hobbies, and for most of us, family. Oh, and relax. I have to remember to do that! Must add it to my list.
Clearly this is not a setup for success in the peace area.
Stress has been a battle for me for ages (I know, you are shocked!), and I had determined to dive into a study of contemplative prayer and be deliberate in setting aside time to be still and just.. .be. Time to do nothing more than experience God. I have done this a few times (it’s always a challenge because my mind wanders like the White Rabbit), and I am always filled with the comforting knowledge that someone much more capable than I is looking out for things. However, it’s really something that should be done regularly. It’s meant to be a lifestyle, not a mountain top experience. Okay then! I’m in grad school so I could use all the peace I can get! Let’s do this thing!
Then I registered for Spring quarter classes. Guess what? Mobile media. Which, naturally, entails using mobile media. A lot. So I am now faced with a paradox, such as GK Chesterton discusses in chapter 6 of Orthodoxy; I must find a way to be still, peaceful, contemplative, fully and completely. Otherwise I just might go insane. I must simultaneously become an expert mobile/social media guru, which entails being ‘on’ almost constantly. I must hold both white and red in my hands and avoid–at all costs– pink.
This should be fun.