My coffee mug is wise. It teaches me, “Peace. It does not mean to be in a place where there is no noise, trouble or hard work. It means to be in the midst of those things and still be calm in your heart.” Unknown
What happens when the noise in your head drowns out the calm in your heart? What happens when this construction of peace seems impossible to achieve?
We all have moments when our reality is less desirable than what we anticipate. When we become obsessed with what we could have rather than what we do have. When our sense of urgency is much stronger than our sense of gratitude.
Lately, my life feels as if it has been at the whim of numerous external circumstances. My level of control seems nonexistent. Sometimes I don’t know exactly how or where to start taking charge again.
I know how Charlie Brown feels about that damn football. It gets lined up perfectly for him to strike. He runs quickly and furiously towards it and at the last second it’s pulled out from under him. Over and over again, he ends up spinning in the air and landing painfully on the ground, dizzy and confused. You’d think he’d stop trying. You’d think when Lucy tells him “I won’t do it this time” he’d listen. He never does. He just keeps trying to kick that stupid football. It seems he has an optimism his audience has lost.
Charlie still has hope. He is still beautifully and naively uncertain of what will happen and wants to take his chances. The unknown is still full of possibilities.
Hope is essential to life but at times difficult to maintain. It is life’s way of telling you to keep going and always remember better days will come. It is the proverbial light at the end of the tunnel. It is the purpose and the rigor behind our existence. It is that feeling Charlie has when he grits his teeth and speeds towards the football. It needs cultivation, care, and stimulation. Without these, it starves and its rival is victorious.
The name of this rival is resignation. It’s when the light starts to dim and flicker, like a lantern running out of kerosene. It is Charlie Brown standing on the side-lines, already knowing what will happen.
I guess hope is form of peace. It gives you a calm in your heart, even if just for a short time. It’s what allows you to experience ever so slightly the reality that eludes you. If we can create our own hope, if we can keep it alive, if we can evade its rival then we can create our own peace, we can keep it alive, and we can evade its rival.