When we plan a vacation, we choose a refreshing but serene location or an urban city that offers shopping, restaurants, and excitement. But the ultimate goal is to get away from the busyness and struggle of our routine lives. Only if it were that simple to leave our challenges and never look back, even if we leave everything behind and choose new beginnings, we will face obstacles.
The greatest obstacle facing the multiple generations that co-exist in this world: Possessing Peace of mind!
I watched a movie that documented a young man who decided that nature was his best friend. So, he left his job, took his life savings and power tools to live alone. Choosing a perfect mountainous spot was easily done due to his previous hiking expeditions. He could live off the land in a cabin that he built without running water or electricity. All was well for many years. But unfortunately, one day, he mistakenly ate poisonous berries and suffered a slow and painful death. Months later, he was found at the base of a tree with his journal in hand. Although his daily journal entries indicated that he was “living in paradise” and was extremely happy, because of one mistake, he documented that his lapse in judgment cost him his life. “I mistakenly have eaten berries that must contain a neurotoxin because I have lost all ability to move my legs. You will find me dead.” Indeed this was a heart-wrenching real-life account of someone who met a premature death—never thinking that his pursuit of peace through isolation would eliminate much-needed medical help.
Even so, as I reflected on this young man’s life, I realize that he possessed inner joy and achieved his definition of peace of mind. It is difficult to imagine that someone would find happiness in isolation from all human contact, hunt and gather food, and live without utilities. And that is why most individuals should not be unhappy. We have so many things (needs and wants) in our lives that we are miserable.
We are self-medicating with anti-depressants, anti-anxiety prescription medications, CBD, feel-good drugs, alcohol, food, excessive spending habits, and the list goes on and on. Our minds are constantly in motion because we are always chasing something. I remember the first time I watched a self-help podcast that recommended taking a pen and paper and making a list of the things you required to sustain your life. And then, make a list of the things you desired, compare the two lists, and tear up the list of desires. The action of tearing up the paper reinforced the elimination of the stressful desires that prevented having peace of mind.
My first list was not a list. I had everything that I needed. When I looked at the list of desires, I asked myself, “Why?” Is this what is destroying my peace of mind? Self is our greatest obstacle! Possessing Peace is not based on the process of elimination. No God, No peace. You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you. Isaiah 26:3
During this pandemic, I have been able to realign my mindset to be in sync with God. My list of priorities has gone through a significant renovation. Faith and trust in God have replaced the destructive habit of self-reliance. Gratitude has replaced the greed for needless things.
The holiday season should not be one of sorrow. Yes, we are in another tumultuous wave of illness and death from the Coronavirus. But I encourage you to make a list of the blessings that you have received from God this year, this month, and today. Acknowledge the unconditional love of God: The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; 23 they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. Lamentations 3:22-23
It is possible to overcome the most significant challenge facing the multiple generations that co-exist in this world: “For I know the plans I have for you,” says the LORD. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.” Jeremiah 29:11
Allow God to enter your life as your Heavenly Father. Believe and receive His promises, “Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need. So don’t worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring its own worries. Today’s trouble is enough for today.” Matthew 6:33-34
God, we ask for your help to overcome the obstacle of ourselves. The desire for needless things plagues our minds. We are seeking peace from everything else, including a location change. Yes, we have failed to realize that peace is a gift from you. Please show us how to increase our faith and trust in you. We thank you for your love, grace, and mercies of this new day. Thank you for hearing and answering this prayer that we ask in the Worthy Name of Jesus. Amen.
© Sonya Johnson Ruiz 2020, No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted for commercial purposes without the written permission of the author.