Peace, be Still (click to hear audio)
And he awoke and rebuked the wind, and said to the sea, “Peace! Be still!” And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm. Mark 4:39
It’s probably fair to say that most of us are attempting to change some set of circumstances so we may experience greater peace of mind. This is understandable for as we look at circumstances that appear to be out of harmony, we take the appearance into our thought and become disturbed. It is only logical that if we smooth out inharmonious circumstances we will also experience peace of mind.
There is another way to approach this problem of peace of mind. When Jesus spoke to the high winds and unruly sea he was in exactly the same set of circumstances as his disciples. Their focus was on the possibility of sinking. Jesus focused on peace. The subtle difference in he and his companions was their state of mind. He was not viewing the storm from a fearful self but from his God-centered awareness.
Meister Eckhart expressed this same understanding.
Truly, if you do not begin by getting away from yourself, wherever you run to, you will find obstacles and trouble wherever it may be. People who seek peace in external things— be it in places or ways of life or people or activities or solitude or poverty or degradation—however great such a thing may be or whatever it may be, still it is all nothing and gives no peace.
If you are in the midst of a storm right now, lay aside, for a time, all attempts to change your circumstances, even through an effort involving prayer. Speak, not to the outer appearance of the storm, but to your own inner reaction, Peace, be still. Speak these words until the waves of fear and the winds of anxiety begin to subside. Find your center of peace and strength. As you enter this center of calm you will see the apparent storm is not so fierce as it seems.