It’s what’s after the big move, with the boxing and planning and repairing and cleaning and shuffling and decluttering and staging and coping with an ever-emptying house and ever-disappearing essentials (but once that box is taped shut, ain’t nobody opening it). It’s after final exams, with the endless reading and studying and report writing and cramming and all-nighters and way too much caffeine. It’s what’s after the party with all the decorations and dishes, the food squished into the carpet, the staining drink spills, the general noise and disruption and what the dog did when he was ignored too long. It’s what’s after the kids are asleep, the toys and clothes are picked up, the kitchen is restored to order and there’s time to sit, put feet up on the ottoman for five minutes before sleep claims its willing victim. The much anticipated ‘it’ is peace. Our common definition seems to have been diluted to: absence of noise, absence of worry, absence of chaos, absence of deadlines, absence of a whole slew of un-peace-like things that clamor to clutter our minds and our souls, polluting inner spaces, robbing weary bodies and wearier brains of sleep. It’s like a vacuum, defined by what isn’t. This thinking, with its penchant for leapfrogging to all that is future, is likely a major contributor to our inability to remain fully present in the moment. The promise of the ‘after absence’ is so utterly compelling, that no ‘right now’ happening can match the addictive allure of that blissful, if ephemeral, state of afterness. In our culturally mandated drivenness, our clock-watching, our perfectionisms, our high-octane, savvy, forward-thinking, lifestyles, hearing that the Messiah, when he comes, will bear the title Prince of Peace, elicits a polite, “Mm. That’s nice.” as we continue forging ahead, leaving a fresh coat of dust on that rather wimpy moniker. All the while it is we who have multiple layers of dust accumulated on our seeing. The Apostle Paul admits: “For now, we can only see a dim and blurry picture of things, as when we stare into polished metal. I realize that everything I know is only part of the big picture. But, one day, when Jesus arrives, we will see clearly .  .  .” (1 Cor. 13:12, VOICE)

Biblical peace is completely complete, purely pure, so full of fullness, so whole with wholeness, that we could compare it with that familiar feeling we have after a Thanksgiving, or Christmas, dinner feast! That’s when we experience being so complete, so full of fullness, so whole with wholeness that we have to undo our belts, giving us a clue as to what all is included in the term, peace. When we say, with happily pained expressions on our faces, “I just couldn’t eat another bite” (meaning, of course, for the next hour or so), we are unwittingly defining the true, Biblical term. We are satiated by it. We are steeped in it, marinated in it. We are super-abundantly supplied with it. By it, we are divinely re-integrated, re-synced, reset to Factory standards if you will, with God’s story, God’s plan. Paul again: “ .  .  . I find that the strength of Christ’s explosive power infuses me to conquer every difficulty.” (Phil. 4:13, TPT). Friends, once this power is detonated in our souls, the ‘there all along’ reality pivots our gaze straight ahead to Jesus, the Author and Perfecter of our faith, and, yes, the explosively powerful Prince of PEACE. Yahoo! Here’s to Advent treasures!  PD

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