The path of serenity

Legos are scattered all over the stained carpet. DVD cases strewn in the corner, a piece of plastic wrapping lies homeless in the middle of the room and that yellow cube I hurt my foot on this morning lies glaringly on the rug. The house is a mess. It seems like the life in this home is revealed in an explosion of belongings multiple times a day. I usually pick up before I go to bed but last night I was so tired and I had a painful headache. Facing this scene this morning could easily cause a bad mood. The messy surroundings make me grumpy. I want order, as if that is going to bring me the emotional serenity that I hope for. I find that it can help but it doesn't really change my messy soul. The external order is a temporary respite but if the internal is raging it doesn't make much difference. My serenity has to be found in something deeper and more real than just a tidy, clean house.
I look out the window at the same scene I gaze on every morning and it's different again. It is never the same, never boring, Today the moon is fading into the morning light, a tiny sliver of a moon. How is it held in such perfect tension around the earth so that it never pulls too far away or gets too close? It's amazing. The clouds soften the sky looking so vaporous, like a hat with a diaphanous veil or the filmy wings of a moth. The sun tints the edges with warm hues becoming richer, stronger, as the burning fire gets closer. The transition from night to day is beautiful - a gift. This is where I find serenity. I gaze upon the gifts that are freely given to me and I rest in this divine love. The house is still messy and will be messy all day no matter how many times I pick up, but I can choose what I focus on while I am stooping to find homes for lost toys or pick up a lonely sock. I can dig deep into thankfulness for the life He has given me and stop to notice that which deserves thanks and praise.
My old habits of ungratefulness and irritability are hard to push out and it's only by the constant insertion of thanks and joy that my old condition gets replaced with a new implant. This implant has a genetic makeup that's different than than mine, it's not the same as my disease-ridden flesh but the same as His divine nature. I don't want thanks and joy to be something my body recognizes as foreign and then mounts an attack to reject it. I want it to be a part of me, something welling up from the inside, not something I have to drag by my will into me. A habit is formed by a behavior repeated over and over in the same context until it becomes part of my subconscious. I want giving thanks to be a habit. That is my path of serenity and my path of joy.

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