Monday, September 8, 2008

Getting Our Peace

When I have time every morning, I sit on my patio. We seem to have more geckos than usual right now. They skitter across the flagstone and hide under bushes and in the rocks. Pity the unsuspecting bug making its way to the water fountain or wherever bugs go. From its hiding place the gecko strikes and the bug is still. I watch as the gecko waits--15 seconds, 30 seconds--then he takes a bite. Soon the bug disappears and the gecko skitters back into the brush.

For the past two springs one of our flower pots has been host to a dove couple and their offspring. The first spring she sat twice--four babies. Last spring we determined she wasn't going to do it again. We turned our pots upside-down, and although she appeared for a few days, she must have finally found another birthing room. Thinking we'd outsmarted her, we proceeded to get our pots ready for planting. Before we had a chance to get one plant in a pot, she had built a nest. Twice we cleaned out her nests, then planted flowers in our pots. We got up one morning and there she sat, amidst the flowers on two eggs. As a postscript, one of her babies died. I wonder if that will deter her from our pots next spring but I doubt it.

It occurred to me this morning that every creature on earth, whether those who stand upright, or slither, or skitter, or fly, or crawl--all of us are looking for one thing. Getting our needs met.

The picture of the Maui skink (could have been a gecko) was taken last spring when my daughters and I were there for a week. It was the first time we'd been together, just the three of us, in years. The first evening on our lanai we spotted the critter searching for water. That week taught we something. Along with the skink all three of us were looking to get a need met. We wanted to re-create the relationship we'd had over the years as they grew up, and we all had aged in our different lives. What we have learned since then is that life doesn't work that way.

We love each other but we've all changed. In order to get our needs met today, we have to learn how to love each other differently. That road is unfamiliar and bumpy at times, but like all roads, it has a destination.

Now if you're a "super Christian," you may be thinking, "We shouldn't be talking about getting our needs met, but should be trying to find ways to meet others' needs." Hmmm... Even when we're trying to find ways to meet someone's else's needs, ours are still at the top of the heap.

Years ago, when I was in a troubling time, I prayed for God to give me peace. The song I sang everywhere I went was, "Master the tempest is raging.....The winds and the waves obey His will...Peace be still." It took awhile, but eventually the peace came. Life hasn't always been smooth and the road has had an awful lot of speed bumps along the way, but peace makes the Life Road easier to travel.

Once again I find myself desiring peace. I want to know that everyone I love is all right. I pray for them and I pray for myself knowing that even if everyone isn't all right, peace is available. That's why, when the man who died and came back, told me how profound the peace was where he went, it made me long to be there.

Being without peace eats away at a person's heart, soul and physical body. Jesus said He came to bring us peace. Somehow I don't think He was only talking about when we die. If that's true, then just as in my past, the peace will come--again. And maybe that's all "getting our needs met" is about anyway. Peace.

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