The world is at peace this morning. I would say it's still, but it’s not really. The birds are busy, and I can hear cars buzzing around me off out of sight somewhere. But peacefulness pervades my tiny corner of the immense world. I don’t know how long it will last, just as I don’t know what scenes will be greeting me next; the adventure of road-tripping is only knowing a part of where you are going. A name on a map is just a name until you get there, and see the scenes that make the name what it is.
I’m out adventuring with the family right now. Instead of the usual wild browns and dusty delights, and prickeldy green cactus, I’m looking at Pennsylvanian trees, grass that is so perfect it almost begs for a New Mexican to go frolic in it, and summer dandelions and bright pink bushes. My little sister brought me a perfectly formed dandelion in seeded ‘blowing state,’ which my little brother aptly termed ‘a wishing flower.’ I let it sit next to my tea and cookies for a bit before duly wishing and blowing the seeds into the wind to make more flowers. One tried to plant its way into my keyboard, and after all, why not? There are flowers growing in my writing right now as I type. It’s a bit overwhelmingly green and gorgeous, honestly. But the differentness simply brings another level of delight; I don’t see these types of sights every day, so I had better enjoy it while I can. And who knows where I’ll be going next, and what kind of flowers will find me at the next stop.
Instead of a corgi on my foot, I have a miniature dachshund on my lap as I type. And while it may not bring the same delight as knowing it's my dog sleeping there, a warm lap from a kind, living thing still evokes peace no matter what the next hour may shape itself into. (And when adventuring with my awesome adventuresome family, there is no telling what the next hour may bring.)
I’m in the backyard, and from where I sit I can see a cup of milk and leftover sandwiches from yesterdays picnic with eight little people, all eight and under, and it reminds me of the chaotic joy and happy noise of family and friends near; and lets the quiet of the moment sink in deeper. When I look straight ahead the yard sort of fades away into a tree-filled grassy stretch that draws my mind to all the millions of people who have walked this land since our country’s founding, the history of their stories unfolding day by day, and the wonder of a time that shapes itself around billions of individual lives, that are all caught up in God’s vast book He writes through the ages. And my instant of lazy peace on the back porch seems to take on a deeper shade of both delight and meaning as I know I’m a part of it.
My moment of peace is peaceful, but the world around me really isn’t. I hear the busy hum of people going about their business, I know behind me in the house my mom is busy getting the rest of the family ready for the day, and somewhere out in the town my aunt is grocery shopping since we’ve seriously depleted their milk stores already. The peace that floods me is an internal thing. It isn’t just the pretty birdsong and the overwhelmingly lovely green. It isn’t even the sense of the depth of history that saturates this state. My peace is deeper then the plants, deeper then the rich earth that feeds them, even deeper then the thrumming story that’s been acted out on this continent since it was created. My peace comes from the One who was there before the trees, the history, or the continent.
How can God look down on such a weak, lazy sinner as me, and save, and love, and even instill His own peace in my soul? I am humbled this morning as I sit watching the birds circle above, and feel the simple dog’s heart beating on my lap. The birds and dogs do what they were created to do. So often I don’t. But the Hound of Heaven always tracks me down, fights my battles, and sets me on the path again. He continually gives me a reason to keep living, and more, to keep striving for holiness. My purpose is set, my goal is firm, and my King is unswerving in His goodness. I have nothing to fret over. I have the world to fight for, but nothing to fret over.
There is a deep, deep peace that comes with knowing where you’re going.