Last weekend I purchased a new watch. I’d done my homework, trolling the Internet in search of the best price. Then I decided to check out Macy’s to see if they had it in stock. They did! Better yet, they could size the watchband on the spot so I could wear it instantly. I decided to pay a few more dollars rather than ordering it online and waiting for it to arrive. Like most people, I enjoy getting what I want when I want it.
The other night I was talking to one of my daughters about a behavior issue.
“Why don’t you ever apologize when you’re wrong?” I asked her.
“But I do,” she countered.
“Yes, you say you’re sorry, but your tone of voice makes it clear you don’t mean it.”
“That’s because you always make me apologize right away. I might be sorrier if I had a little more time to calm down and think about things.”
Her observation made perfect sense. Now she has a little more space before she is expected to take responsibility for what she’s said or done.
It strikes me that my hurry for her to make peace (with her sister, in this case) was misguided. Like anything good in life, peace takes time. But most of us want it right here, right now. And no wonder. It doesn’t feel good to lack peace. Being without it when we think we need it most can tempt us toward hopelessness, making us doubt we will ever experience the peace God promises. But our journey toward peace will deepen as we make God the goal of our lives, living for him, trusting him, seeking to please him. If we do that, we will one day turn around, surprised to find his peace has been worked into our hearts, even though we don’t know how.