The Window Nook

Adventures in living abroad

A Lenten Decision

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It was Thomas a Kempis who noted that ‘habit overcomes habit’. I find this comforting, as far too often I am caught up in the worries of today and tomorrow, with worries of potential problems thrown in for good measure. I daydream, I allow my imagination free rein, and end up entangled in ‘what if’, losing sight of ‘what is’. Perhaps because of this, I have always been drawn to the concept of peace. Rest, if you will. Those who know me well have learned that one of my favorite hymns begins with the lines, ‘When peace like a river, attendeth my soul’. I had always thought of this analogy as speaking to a volume or quantity of peace. And this may also be true. Recently, though, I spent an afternoon waling along the Vltava River, watching the swans glide slowly along the current, feeling the fresh breeze and sunlight lesson the struggles of the week. My soul was gently restored that afternoon. And I carried that strength with me for several days, before the stresses of the week pushed it back once again. A river waters the earth around it. It completes a support system needed for plants and wildlife. It creates a haven for those who choose to walk near it, an oasis in an otherwise barren landscape. I believe this is what the author had experienced. He had known this ministering presence, and it had carried him through one of the darkest periods of his life.
As I’ve considered what to give up for Lent, I realized that what most enslaves me is worry. Worry flows into any empty recesses of my mind and overruns my prayers. Yet I know that resolving to give up worry will only create more of a vacuum to be filled by something else. I do not wish to simply trade in this habit for another, one possibly worse. I find that much of my needless worrying comes from leaving a few vital questions unanswered: ‘Do I truly believe that there is an overarching plan to my life?’ ‘Do I truly believe that God is with me, regardless of circumstances, and that He cares for me more than I can ever imagine?’ ‘Can I walk in this faith, not turning to the right or left, trusting that He will give me all the strength I need for each day?’ And since I know the answers to these is indeed yes, I know that my greatest fears are never beyond the power of God.  ‘As high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is His love for those who fear Him’. This is more than a beautiful turn of phrase. It is grounded in reality.
So on this day, I choose peace. A still abiding in the haven that has been given to me. I will rest in the peace of this slowly moving stream, drinking in the stillness and beauty that it provides. I have found my path, and it lies along this river.

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Author: annekemae

Enjoys writing, photography, reading mystery, historical fiction, and travelogues, chocolate in any form, and tulips.

One thought on “A Lenten Decision

  1. This speak right to me. My biggest problem in life is worry too. Thanks for sharing!

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