We often spend large amounts of our time searching for sources of peace, whether that be to calm ourselves, to answer our inner cries for rest, or to add positive energy to our lives. One place we often overlook is the sky. Another is the grass covering much of our school campus. Yet another is the architecture that surrounds us. The light itself is a source of peace; it highlights the details of God’s Creation that we easily take for granted. The world around us offers so many opportunities to experience peace, we just have to notice them.
There are times when I may be outside for a run or driving around town, and I literally stop and take a picture of my surroundings.
I can’t help but marvel at the perfect dimensions presented by God’s light between the clouds. The comforting warm texture of autumn leaves covering trees and painting a faint orange loom that dangles above my head can leave me in awe. I feel like Creation is underestimated as a valuable source of peace and glory. When I feel particularly stressed, sitting outside can relieve my tension. When I am struggling with recognizing my own beauty, I can breathe in the fresh air of nature and feel my skin illuminate. When I need a reminder that there is value in being present and attentive on this very day and every other day, a perfect split between the sun and its gap created by peeking out from behind fluffy clouds helps me remember that I do serve a purpose.
So here is my suggestion on how to find the peace we are all searching for: Be still.
This can’t be taken too literally; I know we can’t always stop what we’re doing at any given moment in the day that we may feel stressed. However, take a break in the grand scheme of life to relax and let your mind wander. Loosen the grip on the continually growing list of “to-do” items in your brain and look at the things around you with a change in perspective. Try to note the good qualities about your surroundings, especially when feeling like you’re trapped in a jail cell bound by obligations and deadlines. Life can throw curveballs, and I’ve experienced my fair share of stress induced mental break-downs. There are definitely those days when I feel like everyone and everything is against me, and I cannot seem to find comfort in anything. Usually, loneliness and vulnerability accompany me on days like that. This recipe of stress mixed with bitterness, pressure, doubt, and exhaustion can lead to a feeling of defeat. But the best way I know to combat times like that is by recognizing that I am never truly alone. God is constantly speaking to us through all that He has created. His works serve as reminders that he can turn anything to good. Whether it’s my best day or worst day, no day is complete without His presence. When doubtful or needing a sign of peace in this dark world, look at the simple things around you. God touches everything, we just need to pay attention.