As seen in HEARTbeat and the Village Voice



            Such a superfluous word!  And you may be asking me right now, is there such a thing?  Serenity is defined as, “The absence of mental stress or anxiety.”  Now I know you’re questioning my topic of choice.  The word serenity comes from the Latin word “serenus” meaning calm or peaceful.

            If you searched the internet for the definition of serenity, you would find the following: The definition of serenity is a state of being calm, peaceful and untroubled. Achieving this positive state of mind means you won't feel as troubled by life's ups and downs. While addiction often brings chaos, a loss of control and emotional turmoil, serenity will help you stay calm and true to yourself.  I ask you, when was the last time you were calm, peaceful, and untroubled, and is there such a place?  I say place because in the Prophet John Denver song “Rocky Mountain High” he wrote, “His sight has turned inside himself to try and understand the serenity of a clear blue mountain lake.”

            Have you ever stood beside a literal clear blue Rocky Mountain Lake?  I have been so lucky.  It is still and it is crystal clear.  It’s almost like you are looking through tap water.  And the surface of the lake seems like a mirror reflecting the image of the mountains on the distant horizon.

            But all this begs the question:  are we the serene ones or is the mountain lake serene?  And is it truly serene below the surface where all the fish are wildly swimming and just glass-like smooth on the surface?  These are questions we can ponder when we rise to meet another day.

            Is it possible for us to stay serene an entire day?  I guess you could say yes, if you spend the entire day in your home, in your ‘happy place’ with the television off and no negative input around you!  Maybe you could stay serene sitting on your patio watching the birds eat from the bird feeders you’ve placed in your backyard.  You will also hear them hollering at one another and fighting over the prime spot on the feeder!  Well, that blows that totally serene picture, doesn’t it?

            The truth of the matter is we pursue calmness and peace every day of our lives.  Our blood pressure would be lower, we feel better about ourselves, and the tenseness in our shoulders stays away.  But this is not a state we can stay in all the time, and we have to admit to ourselves.  There are some things over which we have no control, and that is the bombardment of chaos in our daily lives.  The key is how do we deal with it.

            Jesus was talking with His disciples and told them, “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you.  I do not give to you as the world gives.”  Jesus is saying this world cannot give the true peace we need, nor deserve as God’s children.  God has a gift for us, and it is His peace.  It is not fleeting like a clear-blue mountain lake, nor a big puffy white cloud.  His peace is everlasting!

            Today, remember, the best way to handle the chaos of this world is to take God’s peace with you everywhere!

  Mountainside Church · 301 Elcano Drive
Hot Springs Village · AR 71909

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