We all want answers to our questions
In the comic strip “For Better or Worse” by Lynn Johnston, the husband has sprained his back and is laid up in bed. As his wife, Ellie, makes his bed comfortable, he says, “I’ve been lying here for two whole days, El. Strange how you become deeply philosophical when you’re incapacitated. I’ve been thinking, he continues, “What is life? What’s it like to die? What is our role in this infinite cosmos? What’s for lunch?”
Ellie stops, looks at him, and says, “Lunch?”
“Well, he admits, “I like some of my questions to have answers.”
Don’t we all! One of the questions that people want some answers to is this one “How can I find happiness and peace of mind in my life?”
I’d like to offer a couple of answers. They both come out of the life of Jesus. First, we find contentment and peace of mind in Jesus’ simple lifestyle. Jesus could live simply because of his humility. He wasn’t worried about pleasing everyone. He didn’t occupy his mind with the pressure of trying to impress others. He didn’t try to be the center of attention. He didn’t care about the drive to be number one.
Instead, Jesus humbled himself for the sake of others. He took no crown. He took no throne. He took no palace, but He took a donkey, and He took a cross. The Bible tells us He didn’t even own a place to sleep at night.
An Amish man momentarily stopped his farming to watch a new neighbor move in. Among the many items that came out of the delivery van were a deluxe refrigerator with a built-in water and ice dispenser, a state-of-the-art stereo system with a compact disk drive, a remote-control television with DVD, and a whirlpool tub.
The following day, the new resident was welcomed by the Amish Man and his wife who brought a gift of homemade bread. After the usual preliminary greeting and cordial conversation, the Amish man concluded with “…and if anything should go wrong with your appliances or equipment, don’t hesitate to call me.”
“That’s very generous of you,” the new arrival interrupted. “Thank you!”
“No problem,” the Amish man replied, “I’ll just tell you how to live without them.”
The second reason for Jesus’ strength of spirit and peace of mind was that He knew He was in a partnership with God. He was in complete dependence on God right up to the end of his life. He prayed in the Garden of Gethsemane shortly before He was killed on the cross.
He said, “If it is possible, let this cup of suffering pass from me, but nonetheless, not my will but thy will be done.”
Adlai Stevenson told a story about a young man who came to the father of his girlfriend to ask for his approval of their marriage. The father was skeptical.
He said, “ I doubt very much you will be able to support my daughter. I can barely manage myself.”
The young man thought for a moment and said, “Sir, I think I have it. If we could just pool our resources, I think we could do it.”
In partnership with God, we can find the power that Jesus demonstrated for us.
Prayer: Our Lord, help us to learn more about peace of mind through the example of the King of Peace. Amen.
Dan Safarik is a pastor at St. Mark’s United Methodist Church in Lincoln.