I found myself sitting alone in the Mission Basilica San Juan Capistrano in southern California. Walking in, I supposed I would explore for a moment and make my way to the next place. The grandeur of the building encompassed me and I felt small as I gazed at the murals on the ceiling. It was quiet and the empty rows of pews stood like soldiers at attention facing the altar.
I decided to sit awhile, contemplating how the arches had been placed- how were they held up? Traffic passed outside the building- horns blasting, motors roaring. Yet, inside there was stillness and peace. I basked in the stillness, savoring every moment. The dichotomy was surreal. If I stepped outside of the walls, there was chaos, noise, and busyness. Yet on this side of the wall there was complete stillness, quiet, and solitude. How could these opposite realities exist alongside one another?
I realized something that day as I pondered this confusing reality.
Chaos, noise, and busyness can exist anywhere.
Peace and stillness can also exist anywhere.
It is a choice. A mindset. A perspective.
If I had chosen to come into the Basilica with a hurried mind, chaos in my steps, and loud, overpowering thoughts, the peace I experienced in that place would have vanished. As I recognized the peace that existed in that space, I purposed in my heart to enter into it.
So it is with my relationship with Jesus. There will always be chaos happening around me. The house will always need cleaning, the laundry will always beg for my attention, and for a time, children will be boisterous and loud. My mind will always have something it wants to say and the to-do list will forever vie for more check marks. However, I can choose to enter into His Sanctuary of Peace. I can choose to silence the voice of Chaos and instead attune my heart to the Voice of the Shepherd.
Attuning my heart to the Voice of the Shepherd looks a lot like Abiding with Him. It looks like relinquishing MY AGENDA- my agenda for the day, my agenda for accomplishing, even my agenda for Him and me! Instead, I can seek His direction for my day, His direction for accomplishing, and His direction for Him and me. Abiding in the Savior is not equivalent to accomplishing something. He doesn’t call us to accomplish, He calls us to Abide.
Abide in Me as I abide in you. -John 15:4
To remain, stay, live, dwell, last, endure, continue, or wait for.
May we be a people who choose our relationship with Him over accomplishing for Him. May we choose to Abide. May we choose to linger in His Sanctuary of Peace a little longer, trusting His Voice, His plan, His will, and His timing.
You will seek Me and find Me when you seek Me with all your heart. -Jeremiah 29:13