During my sabbatical, I have invited Karen Kennedy Floyd, who is a regular part of HCC, to write this week’s HCC Blog.

I am a teacher. Every fall we all pick a “word of the year,” a word to guide our thinking, choices, direction.

My first word of the year, “Purpose,” led to my class motto “On Purpose # For a Purpose.” (The # in the middle is ironic.) We’ve said it together for years to infuse the truth that each of us is made on purpose, for a purpose. 

But the last two years have thrown us off. They have been stressful, a persistent drumbeat of trama. Thus, in 2021, my word of the year became Shalom. Peace. I needed it and I needed peace to permeate my classes.

While a myriad of Bible passages and verses have sustained me throughout the winding path of my life, this year, in these crazy times, in this tumultuous world, I went back. I went back to the 23rd Psalm. All of it, but it starts like this:

“The Lord is my shepherd. I shall not want. He makes me lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside quiet waters. He restores my soul.”

Why this? 

Because as our Shepherd, Jesus is our best friend, the fierce protector of our souls. 

This means that even in a world filled with disruption and devastation, we can have peace, a deep sense of shalom, because, in Him, we lack nothing. He desires to lead us to a place of true rest. 

When the many activities, the many crises, the stress, the chaos threaten our peace, God can restore our well-being. We need to stop and turn our heads as sheep to the Shepherd and let Him lead us to those quiet waters. 

We can exhale - like at the end of a good workout when we’re lying on our backs relaxing every muscle and just breathing. 

The Lord restores our souls. He replenishes our lives. He cares for us. He cares for you. 

You were made “On Purpose # For a Purpose.” 

So when you’re feeling overwhelmed, take a deep breath, exhale, turn your head towards the Shepherd and let Him bring you His perfect peace. He will.