And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful.Colossians 3:15
Do you remember the first time you had a crush? I certainly do. It was in the late 70s, she was a redhead with a streak of white which was unusual for her age. And if you came across her while you were walking down the sidewalk, she would definitely be turning heads up and down the block. But, alas, she was famous, on TV, and unattainable for a young preteen me. Even if I ran into her in real life, a relationship was unrealistic since I couldn’t even drive, which was necessary for her since she was a car. That’s right, I’m talking about an automotive crush! The car was a 1976 Ford Gran Torino, red with a big white stripe that looked like a Nike swoosh down each side. It was the cool, undercover cop car on the TV show, Starsky and Hutch.
So that was my first crush. But my first relationship was after I turned sixteen and I got my driver’s license. I learned to drive in my mom’s car which my parents gifted to me upon graduating from high school. It was not quite like my first crush car; it was a 1976 (same year as my crush) AMC Hornet. Now, most reading or listening to this devotional have never heard of AMC (or American Motors Corporation,) and that’s because they went out of business. My Hornet was a fairly pedestrian four door sedan; quite unremarkable compared to the Torino.
And yes, my Hornet was green, complete with a pastel green vinyl and striped interior. It was ugly, gutless, and on the surface (and inside) not very cool. But to a sixteen year-old that grew up with not very much, it was the coolest! Do you know why? Because it was mine. It was real. It gave me freedom. And that’s why I loved that car and was thankful for it. Yet, the longer I owned and drove it, the more my eyes wandered on the road and in parking lots; the passing of time made me want something better.
But really, it wasn’t the passage of time that made me discontented, it was my lack of practicing thankfulness that led me to fall out of love with my current circumstances and relationship. The Apostle Paul instructs to let the peace of Christ rule in our hearts. Whether it’s a relationship with a car or family member, a love interest or business interest, how much more thankfulness would you have if Christ’s peace ruled your heart instead of your own preferred desires and outcomes? How much less worry, stress, and striving would dominate your life? When Jesus is on the throne of our lives, so is his peace, and that frees us to live thankful and contented lives in the present because he is our ultimate King and provider.
Questions to ponder
What was the first car that you had a “crush” on? If you’ve been driving for awhile, what was your first car?
What are some ways you think you can let the peace of Christ rule in your heart; that you can be more mindful of why you should feel his peace?
Name a few things you’ve taken for granted that God has provided you and express why you are, again, thankful for them.