A man was once given a free ticket to a performance of “Hamlet.” Later he was asked if he had liked it. No, he replied, he hadn’t. Why not? “There’s nothing to it,” he explained. “It’s just a bunch of famous quotes.”
Familiarity can easily cause us to hear only the sound of familiar words, and miss what, in fact, they are saying.
The ministry of Jesus was also full of famous quotes. Literally hundreds of his phrases have become so familiar that we may let them slide right through our consciousness, missing the urgently important message he is trying to convey.
So it is that in John 14, in discussing his legacy of peace, he instructs his disciples in how to maintain the peace he leaves with them. “Let not your hearts be troubled,” he tells them.
The familiarity of the phrase may cause us to miss a very important, simple and effective instruction: If your heart is untroubled, you will be at peace with all the world. We squander our energy when we try to alter outer appearances to reflect an image of peace. Let us instead turn within, focus on our hearts, and calm our hearts as Jesus calmed the sea.
Through the Presence of God within me, my untroubled heart creates a peaceful world. Thank You, God.