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Published on May 18, 2021

Chasing the Creator

Being a peacekeeper has unwanted side effects

By Shirley Prihoda
The Bulletin

Yes, I am getting old. In the back of my mind, I knew it would happen one day, but I didn’t expect it to happen overnight! You go to bed innocently one night and BAM! You wake up the next morning…old! I should have stayed awake. Strange how my inside still feels young while the outside is wearing out. The truth be told, there were signs it was happening.

The first voice of reckoning should have been that nothing is in its original position. Secondly, the surgery scars on my body looks as if Zorro has run amuck. And the final dead giveaway, I actually remember Zorro!

So, I can’t run up a flight of stairs anymore. Even if I could, I frankly doubt that I would. I mean, what’s actually at the top of those stairs worth the effort to rapidly scale them? I sincerely doubt my ability to run up a flight of stairs would hold anyone spell bound. But then, we do live in a world that is wrong side up on so many things!

My plan is to settle in and enjoy the freedom age brings. The way I see it, the world needs more character; so, I’ll just do my part and be one! I have heard my name spoken, and quickly followed by, “what a character!” I choose to believe they are amazed and wanted to be just like me. I’m aware they may not actually mean it that way, but since I am the writer of this story, I get to choose what to believe! Great how that works, isn’t it?

There is a point to this story, but you may have to hang on while we dig up all the fruits of the Spirit to find it. Has the thought ever crossed your mind that none of the fruits described in the Bible are “low hanging” for easy picking?

I know you can probably rattle them off but have patience while I say them just like when I was in school and they taught things by rote. Don’t get me started on the demise of teaching by rote or sounding out words to spell them. That, along with Roebucks and Woolworth; have also mysteriously disappeared like my youth. Sorry, age talking again!

Let me get off the soapbox and back onto the fruits of the Spirit again, “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, long-suffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law.”

As I said, not one of them is easy pickings. Although, we sure want them to be when we want them extended to us! I like most fruits at the local grocery store, and it would be hard to choose which one is best, sort of like, “is an apple better than a banana?”

I love both. Each one is portable and comes in their own handy carrying cases. I am easily amused like that! But, when we’re talking about the fruits of the Spirit, if one is lacking, life becomes a “tough row to hoe.” That’s East Texas for uphill all the way. If peace is the one missing, you’ve got a “hitch in your giddy up” as my mama used to say.

My life before Jesus, and the largest majority afterwards, has been to be a good little peacekeeper. You know, the whole, “It’s my responsibility to keep everyone happy thing!” Before Jesus, it was an attempt to defuse a drunken father or stepfather(s) in hopes there would be peace so we could go to sleep and wake up alive in the morning. After Jesus, I was often taught to be quiet, and overlook hurtful jokes or comments. This was viewed as having “spiritual maturity.” The problem with the overlooking part is that you stuff the hurt inside, and the “stuffing” just comes out in other areas.

More often than not, the wounds begin to change how we interact with others and sadly, how we view ourselves. We shut down parts of our God-given personality when we live to keep the peace at any cost.
Have you ever studied how Jesus interacted with people? He was really good at walking in truth with the yahoos He was dealing with. He was direct, yet He was kind. He didn’t pretend or look the other way when they crossed the line, yet He was kind. He called things as they were, yet He was kind. He is, and was, scripture walking and talking and yet, He set boundaries. While saying you’re sorry is a good thing when you have offended someone, addressing the hurt when someone has hurt you is enormously harder for most people, simply because being a peacekeeper and stuffing the hurt has somehow made us feel we’re mature, even though there is a bloody trail behind us.

If you choose to remain a peacekeeper at all costs, please know that stuffed hurts take root at night and will destroy you from the inside out. The outward signs will be bitterness, hopelessness, sadness, and overeating or even overspending to compensate.

You’ll be quickly offended, move from job to job, friend to friend, and church to church as you feel totally misunderstood and alone. Maybe setting boundaries doesn’t seem so hard after all.

I can’t eat sugar, but I can eat this pie. That’s me smiling!

No Sugar Added Apple Pie
2 Unbaked Pie Crusts
6 Apples, peeled and thinly sliced
1 Tablespoon Cinnamon
½ Cup All-purpose Flour
¼ Teaspoon Nutmeg
½ Teaspoon Salt
1 12 oz Container Frozen Apple Juice Concentrate

Egg wash for the top
Use one crust for the bottom and one for the top of pie.
Combine cinnamon, flour, salt, nutmeg, frozen juice, and mix well. Add the apple slices and stir to coat. Pour apples into the pie shell and top with the other crust. Brush top crust with egg wash and cut 4 slits for steam. Bake at 350° for one hour.

(To contact Shirley, please send emails to john.bulletin@gmail.com or write to The Bulletin, PO Box 2426, Angleton, Tx. 77516)