So be it

I never expected to have a spiritual 'ah-ha' moment in a room full of librarians, at the largest state conference of them.

But I did.

I never realized that a prayer for peace in my soul and sense of humor about a situation that would be fraught with annoyance would be answered in a foreign language.

But it was.

Fanga Alafia, ase, ase.

We were being entertained by a rhythm duo and were taught what we were told was a Liberian welcome song (I've since been researching and can find a similar form in Nigerian, and then listed as just a West African chant. Whatever. That part isn't pertinent to my moment.)

Fange Alafia, ase, ase.

They told us that it means "Welcome to peace, so be it."

My gosh, or--more accurately--My God! These dang goofballs making us hum on kazoos (because you don't blow on them) were God's agents to my heart. To my mind.

I joked as I dealt with my frustration over a particular situation I was put in, that I had not under any circumstances prayed for patience on this trip. I'm not stupid. I don't ask for patience because God doesn't grant virtues like patience. Rather, he provides teachable moments. Because I know that and I don't take well to force-fed lesson, I don't ever ask for patience. EVER.

No, no, I asked for peace. Did you know, as I now do, that those moments and things (and people) that try our patience are the things that God will sue to teach us peace.

Welcome to peace. So be it.

Peace doesn't always look like a pastoral scene. Or a white dove. Or a sleeping baby.

Remember, Jesus on the boat? Sleeping soundly though the storm raging around Him on the Sea of Galilee? That's peace--the ability to be calm when surrounded by a world that would have you be frantic, angry, frayed at the edges. To be calm when all inside you wants to be anything but. Because there is no point in falling prey to those feelings, they will not remedy the situation.

Fanga Alafia. Ase, ase.

Welcome to peace. So be it.
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2 Response to "So be it"

  1. LuluBunny says:
    Apr 27, 2008, 12:04:00 PM

    That is beautiful and amazing - I am speechless.

    That was really something I needed to read - THANK YOU FOR SHARING IT!! :)

  2. Sharon says:
    Jun 5, 2008, 4:15:00 AM

    My Lord! That's my language!!!!!! Its called yoruba and you're right it is Nigerian although it can be found in some other coastal countries of West Africa and in Brazil. I don't speak it very well though.

    But I get what you're saying - this is becoming somewhat repetitive as I'm sure I can vaguely remember typing that phrase somewhere on your blog. But you just seem to hit the nail on the head and there's so much you write about that I can relate to. If there was no storm, there'll be no peace -its like your faith and doubt quote - they co-exist, reaffirming each other.

    uhh...ok. This is almost an epistle, I'll try to keep it short in future k?

    sharon@the reservoir

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