As we rush toward the end of summer, that final weekend we call Labor Day, the heat and humidity remain high, and one other item we deal with at the Jersey Shore also remains — Traffic!!! Those visitors that migrate south on Friday afternoons, seeking a brief respite from their daily experiences, and returning home Sunday evenings, create a tension on the roads every year. The Garden State Parkway and numerous other North/South roads resemble parking lots at certain hours of those days. This weekly occurrence somehow reminds me of life in general. People constantly on the move, looking for a 48 or 72 hour period of peace and calm. Jesus, when promising to send the Holy Spirit, in John’s Gospel chapter 14 verse 27, told His disciples (and all who have or will ever submit to His Lordship); “Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you – I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.” We will pack, make reservations, drive in the aforementioned traffic, with horns blasting (as if their noise would speed up the delay) – all for a temporary peace. Yet Jesus offers to all a peace that surpasses human intellect (Philippians 4) When we reach out to Him, in prayer, there is no traffic jam, no delay in reaching our destination, and no breaking down on the side of the road. The requests we make are heard even before the words are uttered (Isiah 65:24 & Psalm 139:2). Faster than the speed of light, sound, or even (if one could measure it) the speed of thought. Getting away on a vacation or even a day or two to rejuvenate and relax is a wonderful thing in our busy world – but it’s only temporary! When we seek the peace of heaven, Sar Shalom ( the Prince of Peace ) will give us a peace that we need not return from, an everlasting Peace that comes in the person of the one who said, ” I will never leave you or forsake you ” (Deuteronomy 31:6 and Hebrews 13:5) to all who acknowledge His Lordship in their lives.
In His Peace,
Rev. Larry Sassmann