Serenity Break

Lately, life has been hectic. My husband has started taking classes to complete his bachelor’s degree and I am gearing up for a busy semester back at seminary. Since there are only two Saturdays left before those gears shift into overdrive, this past weekend we decided to get on our motorcycle and take a long ride away from the madness. Our destination was the Chesapeake (Maryland) Harley-Davidson dealership, and we agreed to weave our way there via back country roads, hoping to avoid traffic and soak up some serenity.

What we encountered was simply lovely. Cows and horses and chicken and goats. Sunflowers smiling in the intense, bright yellow of late summer. Deep, dark green grasses that come only from a well-watered season. Rows and rows of corn stretched so high that Heaven seemed somehow closer than usual. And, the sun, so warm on our skin as it melted away our cares of studies and finances and work.

The gratitude that I felt as we twisted and turned through those beautiful farmlands was powerful. Look at all I can see! Listen to all I can hear! Breathe in the aromas of summertime! I could sense the lifeblood of God’s grace flowing through my body, bubbling up in a love of life that I have not experienced in quite some time. I am alive! I am healthy! I am loved! I Love!

As I write these words, I wonder where that serenity goes when I am at work, rushing to meet a deadline or trying to tame yesterday’s fires. Where is it when my checkbook stares blankly back at me after I have paid the monthly bills? Where is it as I go from here to there, running errands and being a responsible adult?

The proof that serenity lies within me was palpable on Saturday, as it soared to the surface in enormous gratitude and Love. Invoked by the sights and smells and sounds of freedom and beauty, it brought about the inner calm that I so often miss during the monotony of day-to-day living. And therein lies the rub! My inner serenity is not summoned by angst over deadlines, worrying about finances, or getting it all accomplished on time, every time. My inner serenity is beckoned by cows chomping on green grasses, sunflowers brightly shining in my favorite color, and fields of corn that bring me closer to Heaven. My inner serenity is put into motion by God’s beautiful world and my appreciation of it.

Today, I commit to taking a serenity break. For a few moments, I will stop what I am doing to recognize the beauty that exists all around me in all that God has created. A pretty flower, the tweeting of birds, raindrops on leaves, the loving eyes of a friend. I don’t have to escape to the countryside to find serenity, only to be reminded of it.

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