Published December 5, 2021 by Greg Funderburk

Dr. Samuel Johnson produced the definitive Dictionary of the English Language during a time in which he was also translating classical works of ancient literature, writing plays, composing poetry, penning travel essays, and serving as the editor of an influential British newspaper. That's all to say Dr. Johnson knew something about work, as well as words. He is also among the most quotable of historic figures.

"To be happy at home," he said, "is the ultimate result of all ambition, the end to which every enterprise and labour tends, and of which every desire prompts the prosecution."

While his words refer to domestic happiness, they speak also to the peace on offer to us at the conclusion of our earnest efforts. As we find ourselves near the end of a year of strenuous labor, perhaps consider offering to God a prayer like this:

What's been done has been done; what's not been done has not been done; let it be.

Then, in God's holy presence contemplate the coming of the Christ child in connection with the many definitions of peace appearing in Dr. Johnson's famous dictionary: Rest. Quiet. Respite. Stillness. Reconciliation. Then finally this one: A word commanding silence.