The Center of Peace
By Russell E. Smith
Deep inside you is a place of infinite calm where you can retreat from the cares of the world, where you can find reassurance of God's presence in your life and of God's power to bless you.
Take time to find this place. Make time, if you must, but find it. The center of peace lies in your inner self, awaiting your recognition and beckoning your entrance into its enfolding warmth and love.
How very dear this center of peace must have been to the Psalmist. "He leads me beside still waters" (Ps. 23:2). "Commune with your own hearts … and be silent" (Ps. 4:4 RSV). "I will both lie down and sleep in peace" (Ps. 4:8). These words stand as eternal testimony of the calm in which all of us are centered.
In this place of stillness, inharmony ceases, sadness is wiped away, and hatred is turned into love. Here, in this quiet place within, God assures us: Peace, My child. I am forever with you.
How do we enter this center of peace? How do we find the still waters within?
Jesus said that "the kingdom of God is in the midst of you" (Lk. 17:21 RSV). We do not find our peace in the things of the world around us. We find it only within, in the centermost part of our own inner selves. Looking outside of ourselves is looking in vain. Only within is there peace or hope of peace.
When we find the center of peace within, we find power. We find strength for the activities of the day. We find renewal of our bodies and minds. We find substance for our daily bread. There, in the stillness, is where the blessings of God begin, for there in the stillness is God, the giver of all good gifts.
Where is the source of the power that lights your electric light? Is it in the filament that glows when you press the switch? No, the source is not in the lightbulb. Neither is it in the switch nor in the power line.
Follow the power line. Do you find the source of the power in the transformers? No, it is not there. Do you find it in the huge turbines at the base of the dam? No, it is not there either.
Is it in the falling water that rushes over the spillways of the dam and drives the giant turbines? No, not even in the rushing water.
The rushing water, the turbines, the transformers, the power lines, the switch, and the lightbulb all give evidence of power expended. But where is the power? What is it that causes all the electrical activity, from the dam to your lightbulb, which brightens up your room at night as though it were high noon?
Behind the dam is a vast lake of still waters. Here, in the stillness of the depths of this lake, is the power. Only in stillness is there power.
In the peace and calm of your inner self is power. As you enter the stillness of your soul for a time each day, you find all the power you need to renew yourself for the activities that lie before you. Follow that power line to its source. Move inwardly in your consciousness to the stillness at the center of your being.
Push the switch that turns off your attention to the things of your outer world. Go in, over the power lines of concern for daily situations, and leave them behind. Pass through the transformer of your thinking mind that turns God-ideas into human pursuits, and put it behind you. Go past the great dam and turbines of your feeling nature, where the waters begin to flood into consciousness as thought and feeling. There you find the still waters of the Psalmist.
You have found the infinite calm, the center of peace.
Here you commune with your Lord. Here you are renewed for the tasks of living that lie ahead of you. Here you find your daily sustenance and substance. Here you are replenished in the power of God. Here you are assured that every need is being met.
Once you have found this place of infinite calm within you, trust, as the sheep trusts the shepherd. Your need is God's assurance of fulfillment. When you have communed with God beside the still waters, go knowingly into life, trusting in the eternal promises of God.
You are a child of God, and God is your Creator. Trust in God's love for you.
Go often to the center of peace within.
Trust. Be at peace.