Are you living a life of “untroubled, undisturbed composure and well-being” (New Testament Greek definition of “peace”) or are you in a constantly stressed, adrenaline-laced, fight or flight posture?
Most of us would align with the latter. It is the bane of our 21st century Western Civilization existence to ride the endless roller coaster of adrenaline spikes and crashes.
It’s actually kind of funny when you think about it, because we are seldom engaged in activities that truly warrant that kind of response. We don’t often have to physically run from predators to save our lives. We don’t have to hunt and overpower smaller prey if we want to eat dinner tonight. We aren’t surrounded by constant dangers that startle us and send our hearts into panicked palpitations.
Except that we are.
Although the comforts of our modern life have never been greater, the pressures and stresses of life have risen alongside them, and we are awash in an unstable sea of pressures, insecurities, and demands that are beyond our control. We need two scoops of adrenaline with our morning coffee just to survive.
Fortunately, it is into this kind of world that the Christmas story still speaks. The angelic announcement to the watchful shepherds still resonates: “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, goodwill toward men” (Luke 2:14).
How do we kick the adrenaline and access that peace? It begins by accepting Jesus’ gift of life so that our existential worries can melt away in the light of a greater hope and destiny. Second, we choose to love and forgive. And finally, we hearken to the words of Scripture that remind us that we are not alone amid the chaos: “Be still and know that I am God” (Psalm 46:10).