When I ponder what to write about for this blog, I immediately review the past week or two and look for a theme in my faith life. As a result, I’ve found certain themes recur and I end up writing about some topics several times. Gratitude and unconditional love are probably the most prominent.
The other major topic is managing my spinning plates. It always seems that I have too much going on, too much clutter, too much activity, too much pressure and not enough time. The result is a sense of unease. I never feel like I can relax completely because there is always something to do, something that isn’t finished or an obligation to be met.
I find myself relying more heavily on my faith to get me through the rush, rush, rush of everyday monotony. What I really long for is tranquility and peace. And while I get 20 minutes of it with my morning meditation, it’s the other 23 hours and 40 minutes that are the challenge. I want my faith to help me focus on God during the craziness and not on tasks.
Definition: tranquil (adjective and noun) træn kwəl 1. Free from commotion; free of any disturbance or commotion. 2. Composed; free from or showing no signs of anxiety or agitation.
Something about the definition of tranquil that immediately puts an image of a calm body of water in my mind. I think it’s easy to picture the glass like surface reflecting a moonlit sky and know exactly what “tranquil” should feel like. I can already recognize the quiet, calm and serene setting as the seat of tranquility. It’s also so easy to see the slightest agitation or disturbance on the surface of the water and recognize the turmoil it creates.
How do I focus on the calm glass like surface that being close to God brings instead of the waves of distress that comes from throwing a rock in the water? How do I enjoy the smooth sailing instead of the choppy voyage? I think it’s as simple as stopping and recognizing tranquility’s presence.
It’s always calm just beneath the surface. I believe that when we are completely stressed out it’s because we’ve gotten ourselves caught up in the ripple effect of the world around us. We’ve bought into the negative news or the patronizing self-talk and have decided that “this” is our reality. Moving from tumult to tranquility can be as simple as looking past the chaos and recognizing the little oasis of calm that lies in everything.
I know this is challenging. Sometimes, the crazy day-to-day stuff is so loud and obnoxious that finding a little piece of serenity seems almost impossible.
“It is in your power to withdraw yourself whenever you desire. Perfect tranquility within consists in the good ordering of the mind, the realm of your own.” – Marcus Aurelius (121-180 AD)
The tranquility is intentional. It comes from seeking out the goodness of God during the day to day. It’s a decision we make at the moment of the stone’s impact on the water.