We used to enjoy reading the ‘Large Family’ books, by Jill Murphy, to our girls when they were younger. One of our favourites was ‘Five Minutes’ Peace.’ Mummy elephant unsuccessfully tries to find ‘five minutes’ peace’ whilst her children follow her around the house, even climbing into the bath with her.
The image in the story carries with it the idea of carving out quiet in the mayhem of family life. Trying to find a space alone just to sit and be, with no demands or needs to attend to.
We can feel particularly like this in the Christmas season, there is so much to do we might desperately want ‘just five minutes’ peace’.
Yesterday I was feeling overwhelmed and anxious, a typical feeling I am sure for many in this busy season. I didn’t just want five minutes’ peace, I wanted to hide away and shut off the world and emerge several days later only when all my problems were fixed.
Instead, I made origami stars and spent time with my family.
This morning I read these words in Philippians 4, ‘Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.’
And so I gave thanks for the blessings in my life and brought my many requests before God. I realised I was trying to carry some of my worries on my own, because some of my concerns feel too worldly to be of interest to God. I reminded myself that he wants to walk with me and work with me in all the areas of my life. The little stresses and the bigger concerns. I reminded myself to keep taking one step at a time, attending to the next thing, being present in the moment and trusting God with what lies ahead.
A prayer for today:
Father, I thank you that I can cast all my anxieties on you because you care for me. I ask that your peace might guard my heart and mind. I pray for the opportunity to share you and your gift of peace with another person in the next few days.