The idea that one should stay cool, calm and collected can be nothing more than manipulation of some kind or another. And really, no matter what we do on the outside matters not at all, if on the inside we are wrong or off. This is why we need to be in prayer, and seek to acclimate ourselves into a rhythm and place in which God is present* and at work by his grace to us in Jesus.
And yet, when we do pray, and seek to remain committed fully to God by his grace in Jesus, there is value in seeking to be calm and collected. I ought to add cool, because I can so easily become hot myself, and sometimes in ways that are not helpful.
It’s a matter of waiting on God, his timing, his working. Indeed seeking to be in his rhythm. I know so little of that in my life, and it’s really hard to get hold of. And whatever I may have experienced of it seems quite piecemeal and broken, and probably shallow, though at the same time real, I think.
Calm and collected means we not only stay that way on the outside, which I do want to stress here (no matter what our inside might want us to do), but that we seek to be calm and collected on the inside as well. We would like to take every single thought captive, to make our thoughts and attitude obedient to Christ. So then, when I have a disparaging thought, such as judging another, or whatever the thought might be, I bring it to God, lay it down so to speak at his feet. And I am careful not to act on it, hopefully to let it go.
We want the peace of God by his grace to us in Jesus to rule over us. And that will mean a love which can be at work in our lives, in our relationships, the love of God in Jesus by the Spirit. A love which helps us, and helps others. A love we can’t manufacture, or work up ourselves. But a love meant for us, that we need to learn to live well in.
And so when I’m tempted to give up and give in inside, and just shrug my shoulders on the outside or something worse, I need to recommit myself and my way to God through Jesus. So that I might come to be in sync with God’s working. In step with others in Jesus by the Spirit for the world.
*God is indeed present everywhere, but there is a sense in which we can draw near to him, and then he to us, or in which we can withdraw, and seek to flee from his presence. We are to live conscious of his presence in and through Jesus.