//P E A C E//
I was blessed enough to go away on a family trip in the beautiful city of Durban, where humidity is the very first thing you feel the moment you open a door or window, and the beach is on everyone’s itinerary. The trip couldn’t have come at a better time, simply based on the fact that I was looking forward to spending the New Year’s celebration in a place I’m not all too familiar with, but mostly, because I was determined to find some peace and tranquility away from my home city before the new year began.
Much like most people who insist on taking on more than they can handle at a single given time (that’s a confession), I often find myself wishing I could find some rest and super quiet moments to retreat from the noise of the world. And if ever there was a goal I actually had on the trip, it was to do exactly that: nothing that wasn’t peaceful.
In the midst of what I can only describe as a perfect morning shower (the type where the water isn’t weakly trickling out or burning holes into your skin), I found myself relishing in the fact that I had finally found that peaceful moment I was desperately seeking for. However, I was quickly reminded by memories of times I had sought that very moment biblically described as, ‘Selah’, and how I had almost worn myself out even more trying to chase that perfectly written, perfectly narrated yet perfectly silent moment of rest, where stress flies right over my head and coffee flows perfectly into my belly. It had suddenly felt as though I was chasing infinity, a place or state of existence that really didn’t exist or ever come to an end. The irony found in chasing peace didn’t escape me, even though I was ironically trying to escape moments that were anything but peaceful (another confession there, maybe?).
Basically, in my quest for peace, I had missed the point that peace was not so much a place you actually visit as opposed to a state of internal affairs. I was convinced in that moment, and still am (now that I am home) that you can be in a spa on top of a mountain with nothing more than Disney drawn birds chirping to the beat of your favourite song (hashtag – Hotline Bling) and STILL be thinking about the exact same stressful things that one thinks of in traffic, contemplating whether or not they should actually leave their car on the road and neglect all responsibility.
Living in Johannesburg (one of my favourite cities btw) has led me to the realization that sometimes, as people, we are always chasing. Chasing peace, chasing the clock on the wall, chasing money, but mostly, chasing happiness. We chase so much so that we actually lose ourselves in the moments that cause us real peace, possibly because we’re THAT busy, but I’d postulate that we miss these moments of peace because we have bought into this fallacy that the more busy we are, the more we are living.
Although I can completely attest to having lived with that fallacy being my motivation in life (hashtag – law student life), I’ve come to realise that I don’t ever really need to go too far to be at peace, it usually starts within, because finding peace that is contingent on everything around me being in order is the very thing that will drive me very far from being at peace with anything. Knowing who controls my future, which I believe to be God, and living in that truth is the very thing that gives me peace, not necessarily the perfect shower which can only be located in Durban.
In 2016, regardless of the way it started, whether there were fireworks in your heart or not, drinks in every corner you walked or not, or peace in your heart or not, I hope and pray that it’s your best year yet. I hope that you can find peace, wherever life takes you, and I hope that you find the strength and courage to draw nearer to the things that give you peace and further from things that stress you out.