Minister’s Message: What do you need for a more peace-filled, healthy life?

From where I sit, we have moved off center and it isn’t serving us well

By Rev. Karen Martin Tichenor

How is your soul doing these days? Do you know the “peace that surpasses all understanding”? (Philippians 4:7) It is a gift that comes from God. Or are you struggling? Trying to do this thing called life on your own. Our society has decided that instant is better than over time. We’ve decided being independent of others is the better way. We’ve focused our attention on the latest trends instead of something lasting. From where I sit, we have moved off center and it isn’t serving us well.

Addictions of all kinds are rampant. We’re trying to fill a deep inner hole in our lives with something, sometimes anything, just to have a moment’s satisfaction or peace. We try to numb ourselves instead of actually allowing our soul to feel. That numbing opens the door to so many unhealthy behaviors. Somewhere along our developmental learning of how to live with healthy-behaviors, we seem to have let the healthy slip from our grasp. Mentally as well as emotionally, spiritually. We grasp at things instead of contemplate what would be the best thing, what is it we really need versus want? That is an important clarification. They are different from each other most of the time, want and need. We say we need things that are really only wants. So what do you need? What is stopping you from doing the inner work you need to do to heal?

It is also often true that the busier we are the harder we are running away from something. Perhaps it is grief that feels too big. Maybe it is heartache over a broken relationship. The stress of being without work or income, of not having enough for even the basics. Could it be pain from your past that seems too much? Busy does not equal better or free. For those of faith, turning to God is a power that can and does help us overcome the overwhelm.

So when I ask how is your soul doing, I’m asking what do you need in this life to make healthier choices about life, always keeping the bigger picture in mind. (You may have to sacrifice a bit now in order to achieve a greater goal down the road.) What do you need to help you stop running from and starting moving to and opening to God who is always among us ready to give us what we need. Even when we don’t realize it God is present. Even when we have closed that pathway, or so we thought.

If you don’t know what you need, try praying. Or find a trusted friend or counselor, a pastor to talk to and work through that question. Know this. With help or support and faith you can have the courage needed to face down what you are running

from to have a more peace filled and healthier life. Thus making the world a better, healthier and safer place for all.

Rev. Karen Martin Tichenor pastors at Soldotna United Methodist Church, 158 S. Binkley St., Soldotna. Contact 907-262-4657. Sunday worship at 10 a.m. Soldotna Food Pantry on Wednesdays 11-2 p.m.

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