Friday, June 24, 2016

Cultivating Peace

   The ocean leaves me breathless. It's like the first time the one you've been admiring from afar verbally invites you into banter; like the first time he reaches for your hand as you walk side by side; like the first kiss that leaves your knees weak and throws off your center of gravity. The ocean takes the breath right out of my lungs particularly when illuminated with a rising or setting sun. I am rubbish with any sort of instrument used to produce art with a medium on paper or canvas. I've never had good handwriting and have often surprised others with the crude and jagged edges of my efforts at communicating on paper. To imagine painting something as fantastic as the murals I am privileged to witness in the early hours of the morning is next to impossible for me but to imagine creating them from nothing and having the colors, lines, and continually changing hues look different each morning-our Creator is truly quite the romanitc!
   The most incredible view I have experienced to date was watching the full moon set from the beach and the gigantic red-orange hues of the sun paint the sky as they chased away the huge, white ball of cheese.
   C.S. Lewis said, "Don't let your happiness depend on something you may lose." I wonder how often we do just that. How often we allow our circumstances to dictate our happiness. As I try to figure out my next move in life, I can't imagine a place where I could be as at peace in my soul as I am now-however that is the wrong way to look at things. I dread the end of summer because it means I will leave this beautiful ocean. The peace I have reached in my heart of hearts is indescribable. God has taken my relationship with Him and continued to bless my desire to know Him better. That being said, I don't want my peace to be based on my location in life, circumstances, or people. I have seen myself completly lost and in love in a relationship with another person and I have now seen myself completely lost and in love with God. The latter of these is much more stable and confident because only God cant "steady my heart" and never leave. Any person that I would count on to do that would be unable to guarantee that circumstances would always allow them to be present for such a huge task. Even the most well-meaning of humans are still just that-human. They will not be around forever and thus cannot be counted on to complete such a task. My task now is to promote growth and sustain that internal peace that does not allow things around me to "ruffle my feathers". Everyone goes through difficult things in a day. The difference is how you respond. We all get the chance to respond to our difficulties. Even running from them is a response. Think about something about which you are completely confident. Something simple that you have done a million times. Now imagine being able to reproduce that confidence in any situation you face. I want to find that. I want the solid confidence of the Creator and lover of my soul to allow me to respond with grace and ease to any situation. Any task involving customer service allows the opportunity to respond with patience and ease. You must maintain self-control from your core. Pull from that inner-peace that you are continually cultivating and don't neglect to work on it each day. That kind of discipline doesn't happen overnight.

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