Hank and I had lunch on Saturday in a restaurant that has been in business for more than 40 years! That’s a long time to be feeding people! This restaurant only serves breakfast and lunch and we arrived at the end of the day.
When I asked our waitress how she was doing she told me everything! Over and over she said that it was getting harder to serve tourists. Obviously this is making her job incredibly difficult because this restaurant is on Thomas Drive in Panama City Beach and 99% of her customers are tourists. (Thomas Drive is so iconic that Luke Bryan sings about it in his song Roller Coaster.)
I didn’t have to ask her why she felt this way because she was more than willing to tell me. She said that tourists are impatient, irritated, and annoyed.
And then she asked the question that I ask when I’m standing in line at the deli counter, Why do people act ugly when they’re on vacation?
Let me just tell you this… if you or I act ugly when on vacation, at the gym, or driving in the car then we are not living in the peace that Jesus gave us. People, circumstances, or situations don’t steal our peace. We are more than willing to give it away the moment things don’t go our way!
We sigh, roll our eyes, and make demands. Truth be told, we want the server, cashier, or employee who’s being paid to make us happy to be as miserable as we are. Isn’t that how so many of us see it – it’s their job to make us happy?!?!?
And what about our friends and family who are sitting at the table with us? Or the people who are standing in line behind us? Our bad behavior has agitated, annoyed, irritated, and frustrated them and now their peace is G-O-N-E!
That’s why I’ve started praying everyday for the peace of God which passes understanding to fill my heart and mind! I remind myself that Jesus gave me peace and I get to choose how I’ll give it away…..I can give it to the devil by being easily agitated, irritated, annoyed and frustrated or I can share this perfect peace with those who don’t have any of their own by being loving, kind, gentle, and patient.
And, since this is a blog about aligning spirit, soul, and body, I need to tell you that I often forfeit my peace by choosing to eat foods that I know are not good for me. In the past few weeks I’ve fallen back into old habit of drinking sweet tea, eating sandwiches with real bread instead of salads, and sharing ice cream cones with Hank. Even something as simple as regretting what I ate is giving my peace away.
According to My Jewish Learning, shalom or peace is most commonly used to refer to a state of affairs, one of well‑being, tranquility, prosperity, and security, circumstances unblemished by any sort of defect and this is definitely the extreme opposite of annoyed, agitated, irritated, frustrated, or regretful!)
What will you do with your peace today?
And the peace of God [that peace which reassures the heart, that peace] which transcends all understanding, [that peace which] stands guard over your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus [is yours]. Philippians 4:7
and having strapped on your feet the gospel of peace in preparation [to face the enemy with firm-footed stability and the readiness produced by the good news]. Ephesians 6:15