I have been reading Thomas A. Kempis’ The Imitation of Christ, and I cannot say enough about its relevancy in today’s world. I am finding myself highlighting literally every other sentence I read because the words are so moving. Look around in the world today. What do we see? So much distress and sadness! It began when we, as a society, chose to remove God from our daily lives. We focus on what makes us feel good instead of what will bring us closer to God. It is no surprise why we witness so much depravity.
By now, most of you know many of the struggles I have, especially with my anger and grumpiness. In this book, I am learning the remedy to my ailments, such as finding inner peace and ignoring external annoyances. Kempis writes:
“He whose disposition is well ordered cares nothing about the strange, perverse behaviors of others, for a man is upset and distracted only in proportion as he engrosses himself in externals”.
This quote describes me to a “T”. I allow myself to get wrapped up in others’ faults, pointing out the sliver in their eyes and ignoring the plank in my own. This external infatuation keeps me from focusing on an inner peace that only Christ can give me. Kempis also states, “the disturbed and discontented spirit is upset by many a suspicion”. How true this is! St. Augustine said we are restless until we rest in Christ, and when I lay my head on a bed of nails, it is no wonder why my mood is sour at times. But when I lay my head in the hands of the Lord, nothing can agitate me.
Agitated is the perfect word to describe myself when I become The Grumpy Dad. I am agitated because the kids are misbehaving, or because the laundry is backing up, or because I am allowing someone’s behavior or words ruin my peace. This is stupid, really. I am a grown man who has overcome a lot of adversity in my life. You’d think simple annoyances wouldn’t get to me. But alas, I fall victim too often.
I will write more as I continue with the book. I am looking forward to growing in strength and in peace with Christ!
If you struggle with finding inner peace I hope you will read this book as well. You can buy your own copy on Amazon