A good boundary line; a pleasant place. Surely, I could live there. Surely I do… at least once or twice a week when I allow my heart to wander her landscape.
To walk her breadth. To sit on her front porch and hear the creakiness of her timber beneath my frame. To open her windows at night and feel the gentle breath of the mountain air caressing my skin. To watch her foliage slip in and out of seasons. To awaken with her mornings; to rest with her as she closes each day down.
Indeed, I could live there. At least I think I could. I realize she’s no longer a working farm, but it is fun to imagine my life beyond my current borders. To “see” peacefulness and then to envision me there, living out my days and nights and nights and days with her earth beneath my feet. I don’t imagine it would take long for my illusion to find interruption. No electricity and indoor plumbing would quickly engage my resistance. Mountain winters and mountain bears would be a difficult reckoning for me. Isolation? Well, it lives pretty isolated when left alone and never engaged.
And she’s got me thinking this morning. Thinking about those things that are initially pleasing to the eye that, when contemplated further, aren’t always as delightful as they seem to be. That drawbacks sometime shadow our dreaming. That with everything we imagine that might bring us peace on earth, there comes a reality alongside that everything to remind us that an earthly utopia doesn’t exist. That there is no ideal or perfect puzzle fit with the pieces of our lives because God doesn’t intend for us to remain fixed on the conditional nature of planet earth. God intends for us to remain fixed on the unseen boundary lines of his eternal forever.
Peacefulness never walks far from its contrast—chaos. Where there is one, there has always been the other. They may live in isolation from one another—separate farms with distinctive boundary lines—but peace and chaos are neighbors. One step in an alternate direction lands you on your neighbor’s property. You may not be intentional about the steps that take you there, but once you arrive within the borders of an unfamiliar land, you cannot help but notice the contrast. Peace doesn’t live like chaos, and chaos doesn’t live like peace. They may live next door to one another, but the way in which they operate their farms shares little resemblance.
Peace lives internally. Chaos lives externally.
Peace operates from anchored understanding. Chaos operates without anchors, tossed about and driven along by the wind in search of safe harbor.
Peace says “it is well with my soul.” Chaos says “it will never be well… with my soul or otherwise.”
Peace calms the spirit. Chaos clutters it.
Peace rests with the unanswerable. Chaos keeps asking the questions.
Peace settles the soul. Chaos continually disrupts it.
Peace concedes “the way, the truth, and the life” to Jesus Christ. Chaos concedes “the way, the truth, and the life” to humanity—to manmade solutions and selfish ambition.
Peace authors with God. Chaos authors with the enemy.
Peace lives eternally. Chaos dies a painful death.
I want to live in peace, within her borders and with her Maker. Peace doesn’t live any more peacefully in the mountains just because it is the mountains. Peace lives peacefully because God is there. Wherever he superintends the soil is where peace will be found. He cares for my North Carolina backdrop even as he cares for the mountainous, Tennessee landscape. I don’t have to travel there to find peace; I simply have to travel within—to pause and ponder the inescapable truth that anchors my soul to sacred understanding.
The boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places because the presence of the Living God lives within my borders. He dwells within me through the power of his Holy Spirit. He’s laid claim to my soul and planted peace within my soil. From time to time I venture beyond my borders—spend a night or two at a neighboring farm named “chaos”—but the seeded peace of Jesus always brings me back home. Back to the place where I have ample time to rock on peace’s front porch, time to listen to peace’s refrain, time to roam within peace’s borders, time to rest beneath peace’s sheltering watch.
A good boundary line; a pleasant place.
Surely, I could live there. Surely I do.
The door is always open, friends. Come and walk your Peace this weekend. As always…
peace for the journey,