My friend Kathy sent me this photo (above) from her recent trip to the Colorado Rockies. I’m struck by the serenity of the scene and the motion of the train. Her photo inspired this week’s post. Thanks Kathy!
Traveling season is at its peak. Trains, planes and automobiles are primed to receive passengers. I’ve taken a few short trips this summer. A weekend trip to Asheville, NC. A day trip to Atlanta. These destinations may not prompt much excitement. But I’ve been traveling elsewhere too.
Between my family’s schedule and my pursuits, my mind has hardly had a moment’s rest. I’m coordinating activities one minute and collecting new ideas the next minute. However, when my mind is all over the place there is something God wants to put all over me – His peace.
Whether my thoughts race to find a solution to a problem or pause at a sea of doubts, mentally I’m on the move. I’m either moving in God’s direction or moving further away from His peace. Sometimes I can’t tell the difference until I stop and take a look at my heart.
The examination always brings me to a security checkpoint. It is similar to the one used at airports. In fact, a few weeks ago I had this sobering experience. Brady and I were at the airport to pick-up our son as he returned from a trip.
In order to get to Ryan’s gate, I had to go through one of those checkpoints. You probably know the drill. With shoes removed and everything but the clothes on my back in a plastic bin, I proceeded through security.
As items are x-rayed and bodies are scanned TSA agents are on the alert. They are looking for anything of a suspicious nature. Whether it’s concealed or in view, any possible threat sets off an alarm.
Okay, back to my heart.
My heart’s security is at risk when I attempt to conceal anything outside of God’s will. As my heart says “no” when He says “yes” or if I choose to scatter when He says “focus,” an alarm goes off in me. Worry, doubt, fear and confusion all have a similar sound. Panic. It is the sound of insecurity vibrating through my soul.
Now it’s your turn. As you consider what’s important to you do you sense panic or peace?
I’ve seen the tiniest drop of concern explode with anxiety if it’s not covered in prayer. Prayer can silence panic’s shriek with a more urgent call — the need to trust God. He calls me into calm and covers me with the knowledge of His power and love (see Psalm 46:9-11). If I heed the “trust” call, the panic alarm shuts off. If I don’t I shut down.
I’m discouraged as my thoughts travel through my limitations. But I begin to see beauty if my mind travels in Christ’s redemption. (see John 14:27)
Have you visited somewhere special this summer or are you going somewhere soon? If you’ve been short on exotic destinations but long on mental exhaustion here’s some good news: peace is not just possible; it’s perfect if we keep our mind on God. Despite our flaws it is full of His faithfulness. It is a grace-driven train of thought carrying hope for the heart and joy to the soul.
“You will keep in perfect peace all who trust in you, all whose thoughts are fixed on you!” – Isaiah 26:3 NLT