Can You Handle Peace?

{By Ellery Sadler}

Somewhere between sipping piña coladas and munching French fries and drifting in an ocean that looked like some newbie photographer over-saturated it, I stumbled on a truth.

Peace is hard to handle.

I hadn’t thought much about peace before, because honestly, in this crazy life, there isn’t much time for it.  School and friends and church and background music and TV shows and books and writing have crowded my time to such an extent that I couldn’t even remember the last day I spent doing nothing.

There is a strange seductiveness to busyness. We’ve been raised to equate busyness with fulfillment. But there is nothing further from the truth. You won’t find fulfillment in being busy. Being busy doing good things is a good way to spend your time. But you also need time for stillness. For finding peace.

A distracted person can hide the truth with phone calls and deadlines and commitments. But a still person has to face the music. (Or in this case, lack thereof.)

There is nothing more torturous for a frantic soul than peace.

how to find peace in chaos

I’ve found this out because unconsciously over the last couple months, I’ve become one of those frantic people. Worried about school. Worried about after school. Decisions to make. Texts to reply to. Friendships to keep up. Stories to write. People to see.

And then I left. The country, my house, my computer, my schoolwork. Our family sailed around the Caribbean with no cell service, no Internet, and almost no people. It was blissful, the most relaxing experience I’ve ever had.

The islands teach you lots of things. The people down there move at a pace about twenty times slower than people in the USA and they smile more readily and always say hello to strangers. They are slow. Their lives are slower. Two weeks down there feels like two months up here. And I think part of that is the inherent peacefulness of the land. There is ocean stretching as far as the eye can see, dotted only occasionally by green mountain islands. There are no big skyscrapers, no Wal-Marts, no Wi-Fi. And it’s amazing.

But it also forces you to think. You have to face your own thoughts, your own soul, because there is nothing left to distract you.

Who do you want to be?

What do you want to be known for?

Why are you doing what you are doing?

Why do you live where you live?

What is the purpose of your life?

Even for just an hour or two, I would challenge you to find a place where you can just be. And think. Don’t be afraid of your thoughts or your questions.

Finding peace is a journey, and it doesn’t happen all at once.

It’s a gift. I think of it kind of like a scavenger hunt.

You find a little bit here and a little bit there. Each time you take peace closer to your heart, you become more like Christ. Yeah, it can be boring with nothing to do for an afternoon. But it can also be transformative. It can give you insight into your real motives, your real character, your real purpose.

Pray for personal peace. And find some time for thinking.

Can you handle peace? Can you stand stillness?

 

 

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