Depart from evil, and do good; seek peace, and pursue it.
These are all choices that we make. Some things happen to us beyond our control. Some things we are forced into. But some things we get to decide on, and sometimes those choices reach far beyond what we can see in front of us or imagine coming to pass in the future. Sometimes it is a matter of which direction we are facing, and sometimes it is a matter of where we’re walking or what we’re looking at or where our focus is.
It may be that we’ve fallen into some evil situation. Maybe we got caught up with the wrong crowd and they compelled us to do things we wouldn’t normally have done. Maybe we didn’t want to stand out as different so we went ahead and did something we’d later regret. Maybe we’ve chosen sin because we just wanted whatever it was more than to do the right thing. But if it was a choice to fall into that evil, we can choose to walk away from it, too. We can decide to get up and depart from those evil things and then choose moment by moment not to go back to them. We can choose to do good things instead and replace our evil habits with good ones and our fleshly desires with godly ones.
Then we have to seek peace, because rarely will it fall into our lap. It takes effort and good choices to not get caught up in turmoil and chaotic situations. And it takes trust in God to retain our peace in the midst of chaos when it does come into our lives. And it takes commitment to the ways of God to be peacemakers among our brethren and within our corner of the world. And it takes dedication and a pursuit of God to be at peace with Him. Sometimes it seems so fleeting, but we have to chase after it and not let it get too far out in front of us.
It is true that we can’t control everything that happens in our lives. And so we must leave those things in God’s capable hands. But then there are times where we make decisions and choices and forge our own path and direction. In those times, may we rely on the Holy Spirit of God for guidance and follow His leading. May we walk closely with Him and trust Him to help us do good instead of evil, to choose the right things instead of the wrong things. And let us pursue lives of peace with God, ourselves and the people around us.