Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Peace and Quiet

Will you help me? I've been asked to write an article for the Barren County Progress and I want your feedback on my first submission. Here it is. Read it and let me hear from you...


The peaceful and quiet life. Sounds nice, doesn’t it? Yet, we know it is elusive. It’s probably something people do in some other town. Our lives are active and busy. There are always errands to run, chores to be finished and deadlines to meet. And, even if we aren’t on the go that much our minds are always racing. There is little doubt that we can become overwhelmed quite easily. We don’t like this fact, but many find it true more often than not. Does it have to be this way? What causes us to be this way?

There must be something that motivates our busyness. The calendar doesn’t dictate our lives to us. We hold the pencil in our hand. We allow ourselves to be overwhelmed and driven until we are run ragged. But why? Could it could be that our fear of what others think of us drive us to this maddening pace? We don’t want to be thought of as the bad son or daughter, the parents that are always lagging behind or the neighbor everyone talks about at the end of their driveways. We don’t want to be the employee that seems to underachieve. Now, I’m not saying that we shouldn’t work hard and take care of our responsibilities. Indeed, we should. What I’m saying is that I often take on too much because I’m worried about what others are thinking of me. And I think you might as well. In my pursuit to be perceived as living the peaceful and quiet life I create waves of chaos to keep the illusion flickering on the screen of life.

Is there a solution? Paul, an author of the New Testament of the Bible, offers a suggestion. Prayer and humility before God are what he recommends. Prayer forces us to acknowledge that God is working all around us. Whether we are asking God for wisdom or provision, or thanking Him for what He has given we are forced to realize that He is the Giver and we are the receiver. He is the Need-meeter and we are the needy. The humility we discover in 2 Timothy 2:1-7 tells us that we are, ultimately and supremely, to be concerned with pleasing God. And there is that notion of pleasing again. It’s interesting that when we please God many of the people mentioned above are pleased also. Not all, but many. Then, maybe we’ll find that peace and quiet we desire.


Anonymous said...

Bro. Brandon,

It is excellent! Hopefully, it will touch some people's hearts.

Mary Morrow

Jerry said...

I saw Ernie Waggoner at the grocery last night and he shared with me that you were going to write an article. I think that is great. Your first article is very good and so true. Looking forward to reading them in the paper.

Again, another inspiring message Sunday. Sure makes you stop and think.

Anonymous said...

Pastor Brandon,
It is interesting that you use the word please; yes, we do fall into the rat race of pleasing others and God but if God is the ultimate one to be pleased shouldn't there be a balance somewhere that allows for humility to take its course and bring us to the realization that God is in control and He has the big picture in view while all we have are little snipits. Balance with our Almighty God and pleasing others and ourselves is quite a strategic manuever that implies our knowledge of our boundaries/skills and where we can be used to reap that pleasing of God which in turn produces blessings to others and ourselves that reciprocates in peace and quiet of mind, body and soul. Full circle. Have I confused you? I hope not...just wanted to mention how balance plays a common thread in pleasing those we feel we need to keep motivated to live. Elsa Palnau

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Brandon Porter said...

Right, we are certainly to please God. But, too often I am filled with a desire to please man and God seems to fall way down the list when this happens. Why do I please man? I please man so my esteem and standing can raised. As this happens, I find myself overwhelmed by the many plates that are spinning as I try to keep everyone believing that I have it all together. Which denies me the peace and contentment God desires that I have.

How about this...let us please God and serve others. In serving we realize that we cannot do all for everyone, but we are reminded that we should be good stewards of what God has given us and this will lead us back to pleasing God by being good stewards even as we serve other people.

Anonymous said...

Great article. Well timed since many families will be making major decisions in the next few weeks regarding school and afterschool activities. We need to show our children early on how to prioritize this way so they don't fall into the traps of busyness that most of us do today. We also need to make sure that we don't keep them and ourselves so busy that we weed out their time to develop their relationship with God. I imagine humility and dependence learned early on would be an easier lesson learned.


Maria said...

Pastor Brandon,

I belive your article is right on target, very thought provoking and inspiring. The only thing I see missing from the content is any mention of love. Love takes the focus off ourself.

In our study "Seven Words of Worship" we are currently digging deeper into LOVE. If we try to please God and serve others without love we have nothing. (1 Corinthians 13:1-3)

Another comment - editing - the word "drive" in this sentence in paragraph 2 should be "drives" (fear drives).

"Could it could be that our fear of what others think of us drive us to this maddening pace?"

Maria Johnson

Ben Simpson said...

Brandon, this article is certainly helpful. You capture well the palpable tension that we all feel in our lives.

Will I please God, or will I please man? Hopefully, we will be happy to find that we can do both (as you point out), but that's often not the case. In those moments where the two options are in opposition, we must be careful to make God's being pleased with us the priority. Often this option is more difficult because pleasing man is usually the easier, more readily rewarded option, but we as believers are called to live for the greater reward. It's at this point, we champion Paul's declaration in 2 Corinthians 5:7, "for we walk by faith, not by sight." We rest in the faith that God is actually rewarding us, even if I can't see it or touch it or hear at this moment.

Thanks for the article. I believe the people of Glasgow will be edified. We could all use some more peace and quiet!

Anonymous said...

Excellent! I think you hit the right tone. I believe it will please God, as well as those that read it.
Although I didn't catch it when I read it at first, I think Maria is correct about "fear drives". It can't be perfect every time! You might not stay humble!
Enjoyed the article.

Anonymous said...

Great message - why is it so hard for us to remember that we were not created to please people but to please and have fellowship with God? We continue to add more and more things to do in our already busy life - and think nothing about it - so glad you made a reference to that.
When we do what we were created for I believe that, yes, we will have more peace, and more time to spend enjoying our time with our Father.
I know that my life as been so complicated because of trying to please others and excluding
the word "no" from my vocabulary. Time to "Let go and let God". The article is just what I needed to hear and I know their are others like me that will be appreciative for these words.
Thank you

Annetta said...

I think your article is right on so many times we get so caught up in trying to please the people around us that we for forget the one we need to please is God. May we all search a little deeper and find that true connectiion to God, so that we can be the light that will shine in our commnity. "Go therefore and make disciples of all nations baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you, and lo I am with you always even to the end of the age. Matt. 28:19-20.
God Bless