What is peace? The answer you get will depend on who you are or who you ask. According to Wikipedia “Peace is a concept of societal friendship and harmony in the absence of hostility and violence.” And well that is definitely a form of peace, what I have in mind is something a little different.
When I am in the mountains, particularly the Rockies, I’m overcome by a sense of calm and awe that I describe as peace. Not an absence of conflict. But a peace that I long for in the core of my being. A feeling of home, a call from the wild, realizing how incredibly small you are and also seeing that you’re capable of big things. A paradox. Why? What is this impression of being grounded, when all of life’s cares and worries disappear in the shadow of a majestic mountain peak. Where does it come from? Why do we seek it?
So many people spend their whole lives chasing after things that inevitably leave them empty and broken. Searching for something, anything, that will make them feel whole, but so much of it is a lie. Things that we are told to chase after because they’re supposed to make us feel good, make us happy. Why do we not rage against the trappings of these false idols? Do we not know better? We all know that one person who has that inexplicable peace about them. Where do they get it?
Being in the mountains allows me to feel closer to God, I understand more of His nature and His love. The peace that I experience in the mountains is quite simply the peace of knowing I am loved by an amazing Father. He formed the mountains with His own hands, and He knew that one day He and I would enjoy them together. The beauty of the mountains is God pointing out at every turn and saying “Hey, do you see that? I made it just for you.” This is the thing that I seek, what I spend all my time and money on. I want to be in the mountains not just because they are beautiful and there are adventures to be had. That is only a small part of it.
“What comes into our minds when we think about God is the most important thing about us. ... Worship is as pure or base as the worshiper entertains high or low thoughts of God ... We tend by a secret law of the soul to move toward our mental image of God” - A.W. Tozer
I know, the new year is likely one of the most cliché writing topics out there. But in spite of all that junk out there about New Year’s resolutions, improvements for this next year and reminiscing about the past, this is still a time to celebrate. We can always take time throughout the year to make goals and set our sights forward as well as remember the past. Any goals I have for 2021 have been in place since long before people started asking about new year’s resolutions. For me a new year has only ever been a time to gather with family and friends and be grateful for what I have, basically an extension on Christmas.
New Year’s Resolutions have far too much failure attached to them to be useful to anyone. Almost anytime you hear about them it’s usually connected to how someone didn’t keep up with them for more than a week or two. I avoid making resolutions simply because it’s not the same as setting an actual goal for yourself, it’s exactly the same as making a promise with the intention of not keeping it. When you can’t keep your word to yourself, then who will you be able to keep it to?
And I know that this past year has been crazy, but we all lived it so I’m definitely not going to take the time to rehash it all. I also know that this year is not going to be any different, but it shouldn’t stop us from planning, even if the plans get cancelled, who cares? Spontaneity and taking life one step at a time is all apart of the adventure. Plans change and get cancelled, so make new plans, in the moment decisions. Just because you can’t schedule adventures like before, it doesn’t mean that life can’t be it’s own adventure anymore. Take a moment to explore and find excitement in every day. Break with the routine, make a new routine, and be spontaneous. Life was made to be taken a day at a time, second by second, so do that.
Find opportunities throughout the year to set goals, you’ll find them easier to keep than resolutions. And well you’re at it make them easy to achieve, don’t set yourself up for failure by just setting large goals, aim for something that you can accomplish by the end of the day or the end of the week. And every single one of these achievements will accelerate you towards your larger goal.