I am suggesting that we all declare 2015 the year of Shalom.
I got the idea from Jon Wallace, the President of Azusa Pacific University. This fall, he led the APU community into an intentional “rhythm of life that provides for both a passion for vocation and a place for obedient faith.”
In an article published this week, Wallace defined “Shalom” as “a settled state of holistic wellness, a sense of complete security and thriving in our families, our neighborhoods, our vocations and our souls.”
I am convinced that he is on to something very important. When I ask the staff at Stoneybrooke for prayer requests they often fall into two categories. They are either concerned about a specific burden regarding a family member or they ask for prayer that their own lives might have some balance.
It seems that we all crave PEACE.
Jesus was clear about the source of that kind of peace. In John 14:27, He said, “Peace (Shalom) I leave with you; my peace (shalom) I give you. I do not give it to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.”
So if this is to be the year of “Shalom,” what are some practical things that we can rearrange in our lives in order to make room for real peace?
Here are a few fun suggestions:
- For at least one leg of our daily commute, let’s turn off the music or talk radio in the car. Roll down the window and just breathe.
- Several times a week, let’s step outside and take our shoes off. Try the “Pretty Woman” thing and wiggle our toes in the grass.
- Let’s set some “electronic limits” for emailing at home. Perhaps a nothing-before-Bible-reading morning rule and a nothing-after-6 pm evening rule would be good.
- At least once a week let’s make sure we spend some dedicated, uninterrupted time with our spouse or some good friends…doing nothing but laughing or praying or worshipping, things that really matter.
Bottom line, making 2015 the year of Shalom will require some intentionality and a sense of purpose. For some, schedules will need to be rearranged. For others, some organization is required. For most of us, our priorities need work. Regardless of the effort required, a life filled with Shalom will be worth it!