Snow blankets day-to-day turmoil with an aura of tranquility. Of course, there’s always the frenzy that follows with clogged streets, slick highways, icy walking paths, and all that. But, for just a few moments, if we step back, relax and let it happen, a snowstorm can bring at least a brief tranquil respite.
Tranquility represents a sense of inner peace and balance that is essential to healthy living. Another word for it is serenity. That brings to mind the Serenity Prayer: “God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.”
My introduction to that prayer came from a pastor who was a recovering alcoholic. Sobriety brought a restoration of balance to his life, and that produced a call to ministry. He intentionally centered on the Serenity Prayer every day. It was part of his walk with Christ.
As snow falls today I recall Jesus’s words when he was preparing his disciples for the turmoil they would face as persons who had been deeply changed by their walk with Him. “Peace I leave with you, my peace I give to you.” (John 14:27).
He knew they lived in a hostile world where they would need an inner resignation of worry through total trust in God after he was gone. How much we need this same inner peace and spiritual grounding in today’s world of lies, crudeness, bullying, and unbridled greed. When we are exploited by purveyors of fear, we need God-given tranquility to stay the course.
To be alive is to suffer sometimes. To be balanced is to cultivate a faith in our Creator that carries us beyond suffering to redemption, giving us hope and inner strength. The Serenity Prayer aids in that process.
Many people love snow at Christmas, even if they dislike it at other times. It somehow bespeaks warm legends of down-home joy and celebration that lie somewhere in the depths of our heritage. Christmas is near, and today it is snowing. The snow offers a chance, at least briefly, to slow down, take a deep breath, and relax.
I hope to so absorb today’s snowy tranquility that I will be able to call it back into my spirit when I hit the frenzy that awaits tomorrow. “God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.”