A Quest for Peace

What’s Wrong with this Picture?

It was late afternoon before she recognized her growing restlessness as a desperate need to get outdoors away from the clutter and clamour. The house was topsy turvy and the children were all engaged in projects other than school work.

But if it was peace she was looking for, she did not find it. From the moment she hopped on her bike she was aware of an unsettling presence. It took many forms over the next couple of hours. A dark shape that resembled a man among the wrecked cars in the neighbours’ pasture… a bit of broken car windshield glass and red plastic from a park light suggesting a decided absence of peace on the quiet road since her last ride that way… the sunlight hitting the shadows on the road ahead giving the appearance of a vehicle perpetually approaching from the north… strange rustlings in the dry grass at the roadside despite the absence of grasshoppers… a crunched up pop can in the old abandoned farmhouse as evidence that someone had been there since her last visit… In fact, the whole drooping demeanor of the house this time gave the impression that it had sunk and shifted even more than before.

She didn’t want to go inside the house, so she sat down in the grass by the laneway at the edge of the field behind the house. Even there the raspy clatter of dry leaves knocking together in the wind… rustling in the grass… the combine humming in the field half a mile away… and the eerie feeling that someone could be in the house watching her… all added to the feeling of disquiet.

She knew the verse. He that dwelleth in the secret place of the Most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty. She also knew that the Sabbath rest belongs to every day of the week for the Lord’s own. But where was that rest? Where was the secret place? Her prayer did not reflect back from a brassy sky… she knew she had been heard. But where was the peace? And why could she not settle down and lose some of the restlessness?

Maybe she needed a drink of water. She rose carefully and gingerly from her spot confinement between mole mounds and dry thistles and drank from her water bottle. Now, where to sit down again? She walked around the house, looking in the windows. At least it didn’t smell bad as it had on that dark and dreary day she had last been there. But no spot invited her to sit and rest a spell. She could not shake the feeling that she was not alone. There was no peace.

By now the sun was sinking low in the sky and it was time to head for home. Maybe she could find a quiet spot there. In the bedroom perhaps? No. There would be no peace that night.

She knew the unsettling presence was her own restlessness self, and there would be no escape today. “What’s wrong with this picture,” she asked herself. “Why does the peace and quiet of the warm, sunny autumn day not fill me with peace as it usually does?”

The answer did not come.

That was me ten years ago. I’ve learned a few things since that day.

The biggest thing I’ve learned is that we talk to ourselves all the time, and most of it is negative. I’m told that the average toddler hears “No” four hundred times a day. I don’t know if that is true or not. But I do know that from the time we were very small, we’ve received negative programming — from our parents, brothers and sisters, teachers, Sunday school teachers, youth leaders — that takes root and overpowers the positive. And that is what most of us live with, whether we realize it or not. Awareness is the first step toward turning the negative around to the positive.

Today I am on an ongoing quest for peace. But now I not only know where to look, but I know how to get it. Positive self talk!!

Jesus said, “Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.” Those words were spoken to His disciples just before He left them, but they are meant for anyone who knows and loves Him. So now, when turmoil and agitation start to threaten me, I say:

“I am at peace in Christ my Saviour. I am at peace in Christ my Lord.”

Are you like me? Do you need peace more than anything else? Try saying those words hundreds of times a day, and just watch things shift and change!

© Willena Flewelling

Comments

  1. “Positive self talk” is a real thing and it’s very important to crowd out those negative thoughts you talk about with positive ones.

  2. Willena, how ever you can reach the point you have. That is all the doors have opened because you seek. Yes, love it.

    There is no better peace than with the Lord, Christ Jesus. That is the only comfort for me. I pray all is at peace with you during this journey. Continuous prayer, I will have for you.

    Love what your doing Willena,
    Brotherbill
    William Earl Amis Jr III recently posted…Let Go, Gain Clarity!My Profile

  3. So glad you found some much needed inner peace Willena!

    And I totally agree what you’ve shared about “positive self talk.”

    Because we all unfortunately have consistently been subjected to a lot
    of negative comments, practically the moment we we’re old enough to understand
    what every particular language you happen to speak!

    So we can all use tons & tons of reinforced “self talk”, that’s for sure!
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  4. Inner peace is very important for a person to survive smoothly. I feel peace in dikr and few may find peace in sleeping.
    I prefer both and it depends on person

  5. > “What’s wrong with this picture,” she asked herself. “Why does the peace and quiet of the warm, sunny autumn day not fill me with peace as it usually does? <

    One of the challenges we face is that our lives are dependent upon our past as well as our present. Sometimes we are largely at peace but frustrated at the moment and getting away for a nice walk does all we need to restore our inner peace.

    But other times the disquiet is much deeper and not easily turned aside with a pleasant day.

    Yet to make things even more confusing sometimes very deep unrest can be cast aside just by watching a young child play with a dog. That is lucky as it helps us get through challenging times.

    But it is also confusing as determining the source of your troubles and how deeply they run is often not as easy as it seems it should be. And without understanding the source often makes it challenging to determine how your should respond. But by paying attention and seeking to find deeper peace within we set ourselves on the best course for achieving it.
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    • Going for a walk always helped me. I am blessed to be living out in the country, a kilometer from my nearest neighbour. So if I go for a walk alone, it’s just me and the birds and wild animals. 🙂
      Willena Flewelling recently posted…Be StillMy Profile

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