I grew up in a large family, which was often made larger by extended family gatherings. I remember, on one such occasion, my aunty giving my mum a book called Five Minutes' Peace; a book about a mum desperately trying to escape the demands of her family.I couldn’t understand why anyone would want to escape.
Fast forward through the years to February Half Term 2019 and me, surrounded by lovely-lively nieces and nephews, thinking, ‘I just need to escape for a minute’.
I sneaked into the bathroom and locked the door behind me.
Imagine, then, my shock when my niece appeared in the room.I jumped a mile, much to her delight. Once my heart-rate had returned to normal, and my niece had stopped giggling, I asked her; ‘How did you get in here?’
With a look reserved by three-year olds for adults they deem a bit dim, she said; ‘I opened the door’.
I’m deaf, so it’s not surprising I hadn’t heard the door open. What did surprise me was that she’d opened a locked door. Clearly, in my haste, I hadn’t locked it properly.
In our writing lives, and life in general, we may need to escape things sometimes. Often negative things. For example, saying:
‘What I wrote today is only worthy of the bin.’
We may then, rightly, shut the door on the negatives within that voice. Remind ourselves that it’s ok not to not to be writing non-bin-worthy stuff every day. It doesn’t mean we are useless. We can start again tomorrow.
‘What I wrote today is only worthy of the bin.’‘How did you get in here?’
‘I opened the door.’
And our thoughts become it’s not ok not to be writing non-bin-worthy stuff every day, I’m just useless, there’s no point in me starting again tomorrow…
‘How did you get in here?’‘I opened the door.’
But I locked that door, we might think.
Maybe, in our haste, we didn’t lock it properly.
Philippians 4 holds the key to locking the door properly:
Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
We might wonder how we can possibly find peace, with deadlines looming, or many bin-worthy-writing days, or blogs no one reads (what are we doing wrong?), or inspiration gone AWOL, or focus not focussing….
If we knew how to find that peace, it wouldn’t be the peace of God.God’s peace ‘transcends all understanding’.
We don’t need to understand how God’s peace is able to ‘guard our hearts and minds’.But it is.
And for far longer than five minutes.
Peace in all of every day.
Let Him deal with the how.
Question: ‘Peace? How did you get in here?’Answer: ‘God gave me to you.’