In this new era of focusing on what might be next in each of our faith lives it’s appropriate to articulate some semblance of a destination to be reached. We are all in process of motion; some of us are making leaps forward, others have taken a sideways step (or two), and a portion of us resemble spinning wheels. In fact, I greatly resemble a composite of each of the above descriptions. One day I’m going great guns in a positive direction and the next I’m burning rubber doing figure-eights in the parking lot of life. Since pastoral leaders must lead the way I want to be open and transparent, and I also want to be one of the first to take a next step. To this end I’ve been praying and reading in preparation of both what my next step might be, and where it might take me.
I feel led to seek a state of shalom. Shalom? Dude, you going Jewish? No, I’m sticking with Christianity, but am seeking the transforming state of equilibrium as defined by our Hebrew cousins. The Hebrew word “shalom” is often translated simply as “peace.” Our English one-word, catch-all translation simply does not do justice to the Hebrew idea of “perfect, harmonious interdependence of all things created” (Timothy Keller). Keller goes on to write: “The Hebrew words means much more (than peace), it means absolute wholeness – full, harmonious, joyful, flourishing life.” Sign me up. Super-size that order for me. When do I begin?
Shalom is a state of life God has purposed for each of us. Shalom is the life God can provide for us as we progress on our faith journey. But, it’s not magic, nor is it bestowed blindly by God. Shalom is something we must seek through prayer, scripture study, silence before God and personal worship. Shalom enters when we give up the most selfish pieces and parts of our lives. When God fills us we enter Shalom. If we fill ourselves…well, we begin burning rubber doing figure-eights in the parking lot of life. To cross the border into the state of Shalom is to seek definite and dedicated progress in the spiritual disciplines. There’s simply no other way to arrive there. My journey starts today…will you join me?
Peace & Blessings,
Johns Creek Baptist Church