Life is a constant search. Human nature has an uncanny desire to chase and look for what we lack. We long for adventure, we long for love, we long for knowledge, and we long for well-being. No different than any other human, I, too want for so much in my life, and sometimes catch myself wanting for more than I need. I have noticed that my spirit searches for one certain ideal with much more awareness and attraction than it does for any other.
I long for peace. I want peace in my relationships. I want peace within my schoolwork and my extracurricular activities. I want peace with the decisions I am making and with the decisions that are made for me. I am always searching and praying to stumble upon peace. And, why wouldn’t I want it? It is such a beautiful, simple idea.
Google defines peace as freedom from disturbance and goes on to define disturbance as the interruption of a settled and peaceful condition. It is liberty from regret, second guesses, guilt, and wonder. It is the comfort of accepting situations as they are and knowing that my misconstrued plan is insignificant in terms of the master plan that is laid out ahead of me.
So I long for it and pray for this glorious state of being. Through every storm and for every anxiety, I pray that God washes over me a wave of total serenity. Again, my human nature interferes and I, thinking my time is more precious than God’s, take matters into my own hands when peace doesn’t arrive as fast as I hoped. That my friends is a huge burden to carry.
It takes a lot of extra energy to attempt to smooth out every bump in the road, and, even more, energy to console yourself when you inevitably fail. It was in the midst of one of these failures that I finally got it; I felt it wash over me like a physical rain.
I realize that peace isn’t something you can just run to the grocery store and grab off the shelf. You don’t get to try it out for size and see what fits your situation best. Peace isn’t something you can force or magically receive. You can’t look for it or work for it. It is something you have to accept. You simply have to live in it. It is a choice. You must will yourself to handle everything to the best of your ability and be faithful enough to accept the outcome. It is easy to fill the empty spaces of our minds with worry, and we have to take the initiative to ring those thoughts back in.
In the middle of fall semester, my mom gave me a tiny bracelet with the small word “peace” inscribe on its silver plate. When she gave it to me her words were: “I pray and hope that this is something you find in the coming months.”
What that bracelet really helped me do is to realize that I had the peace all along, I just wasn’t letting it in. I was fighting a battle that I now realize I needed to lose. So give in. Wave the white flag. Let yourself embrace the freedom to choose how you view and respond to what life throws your way, and chose to be peaceful. To be content and thankful.
Trust Romans 8:18, in that there is no comparison of the present hard times to the coming good ones. Save your longing for gifts that haven’t already been granted to you by the prince of peace Himself.