I read a great book on the concept of sin a ways back by Cornelius Plantinga called, Not the Way It’s Supposed to Be.
Plantinga did a great job of talking about the Hebrew concept of “Shalom,” which we translate as “peace.” He argues that our word peace connotes the absence of conflict and doesn’t really convey what shalom means… unity or the way things are supposed to be.
So, in this life where things are broken and messy, there is no shalom. Or, in other words, it’s not the way it’s supposed to be.
I’ve been bumping into a lot of difficult things lately. It is pretty evident that most problems stem from somebody’s sin along the way and result in things not being the way they are supposed to be.
Here’s the thought… we know what things ought to be like, but we’re faced with things the way they are. There’s a horrible tension in that. The ought and are difference creates a ton of frustration and stress. How come life is so hard? How come that person is like that? Why can’t we all just get along? Why did he do that to his wife? Why is she so selfish?
Do you ever deal with that frustration and stress?
I used to cope with that kind of stuff by getting out into nature… nature has such an amazing calming effect (probably because there are no other messy people around :) Lately, though, it’s harder and harder to find the emotional free space needed to hit the reset button on life and refresh my perspective.
Maybe I need to follow the sabbath principle more? Maybe I need to go for a long hike by myself? Maybe I need to stay up all night and just read my bible and pray? Maybe I should start journaling again? Maybe I need to spend more time in healthy environments rather than all the messy ones (ministry)? Maybe I need to take more Vitamin B…
I don’t have answers to my own questions right now, but I do know that solitude looks pretty darn attractive, and the desire for God to bring shalom burns pretty hot.