Peace, even just a few moments of being truly at ease, seems very, very hard to come by sometimes. There are just too many options for doing something "right now!" Slowing down becomes a luxury.

So...what to do? How to be? What next?

Peace, just a few moments of being truly at ease, could be there for you now, in a few moments within the heartbeat of God.

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Now many saw them going and recognized them, and they hurried there on foot from all the towns and arrived ahead of them. As he went ashore, he saw a great crowd; and he had compassion for them, because they were like sheep without a shepherd; and he began to teach them many things.

Mark 6:33-34

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You're trying hard, carving out time each day to desert your distractions and soak yourself in Christ. Maybe it's digging into scripture. Maybe it's playing the guitar. Perhaps it's creating art — dance, song, or painting — for the Creator. Yet even with your best intentions, you're interrupted. A friend texts. A parent hollers. A tardy bell rings.

Even as Christ and his apostles try to get away, they are interrupted. They are there to rest, and yet their time of quiet is wiped out by the people who meet them there. Jesus once again surprises us. Instead of kicking the people out or condemning them for not respecting his "personal space," he has compassion on them, because they need what he has: a guiding staff and the word of truth.

Today our inward peace may be threatened with interruption. A friend may offer a disappointing comment, a message may pop up that invites unkindness, a parent may be unfair. In that moment, have compassion, because they need you to be Christ and share his peace with them.

John Woods

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Interrupting God, who changed the course of history through your Son, give me the grace to face interruptions as opportunities to share compassion, so that your peace might be the defining mark of my life. Amen.

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Go in peace
With Christ now at your side.
Go with a sense of ease
That only Christ provides.
Go to share the calm within.
Peace again.

John Woods

John Woods is pastor of music and worship at Northside Baptist Church in Victoria, Texas, where he provides leadership to the areas of music, the arts, worship, and liturgy. When there’s time, John likes cluttering up his Mac, reading Dan Brown, listening to “This American Life,” traveling with his wife Lindsay and son Husdon, and exploring the intersections of music, faith, liturgy, and community.

Jesus Calls Us

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