Interstate Peace of Mind

Scripture: Micah 5:1-5a; Luke 3:3-6

Interstate Peace of Mind

Traveling on highways rarely feels peaceful. Especially if the highway is I-35. I’ve lived in Austin, TX for 22 years, Waco, TX for 9 years, and San Antonio for 4.5 years. That means I have spent an inordinate amount of my life staring at a sea of red tail lights on Interstate 35. My first three years here in San Antonio, I had a commitment to be in Dallas nine times a year. After my first 2 years of burning up I-35 between San Antonio and Dallas, I decided no matter what I would find a way to affordably fly for my final year. I-35 was not adding to my life’s sense of peace.

Someone recently suggested I stop resisting traffic. It wasn’t a suggestion to trek across the country the day before Thanksgiving or at rush hour. It was a suggestion to welcome delays when they find me. I can either spend my time in traffic ranting and raving about both bad drivers and lagging civic infrastructure or I can choose to make peace with these inconveniences.

Specifically, I’ve begun practicing saying a blessing over every car stuck in traffic with me. I ask God to fill them with lovingkindness. I ask God to keep them safe from inner and outer dangers. I ask God for them to be well in body, mind, and heart. And I ask God for them to be at Peace and whole (entering into the transformative Shalom of God). When I remember to practice this blessing over people in traffic I find the anxiety slipping away and God’s Peace resting on me. It’s a much better Way to be in traffic.

The Prophet Micah and John the Baptist both envision God bringing Peace into the world. Micah marvels that the Peace Bringer will emerge from such an insignificant and unremarkable village. It is not his locale, Bethlehem, but his origin, connected to God’s ancient covenant promises, which is of importance. John the Baptist encourages people to prepare themselves for the coming of God’s Peace. This preparation is not solely a matter of personal holiness, but involves God’s desire to see equality spread systemically through the land.

How can we look receive and spread God’s Peace in unexpected places?

How can we be peacemakers in a world full of inequality, systemic sin, and injustice?

What does it look like to allow our lives to become highways through which God’s redemptive Peace can travel into the world?

Christopher Mack