I woke up unusually early this morning, so I quietly sneaked away from the sixteen other family members (who were still sleeping in our vacation rental) to enjoy a rare, private moment on a deserted stretch of beach. I’m more of a mountain lover than a beachgoer, but there are few, if any, more peaceful experiences than watching the sun crest over the Atlantic Ocean. Soft rose and gold light reaches out, tinting the clouds. The steady thrum of waves beats against the shore, soothing the soul.
Whenever I’m staring across an expanse of ocean toward the horizon, I’m struck by the contrast between the huge, timeless planet and my small, temporary role in its evolution. Although I don’t generally like to think of myself as insignificant, the feeling can be very freeing. Mundane worries, or even larger problems, gain a new perspective and feel less insurmountable. Whether those concerns resolve favorably or not, life goes on until it’s over, and the ups and downs we experience blend into a seamless, colorful tapestry of experience that would be less beautiful without the good and the bad.
I suspect many find that same sense of serenity through their faith. Although raised as a Catholic, you’ll only occasionally find me seated in a church pew on Sundays. Throughout my life, I’ve struggled with organized religion and questioned my faith. With so many options, can only one of them possibly be the correct belief? But when I’m standing at the edge of the sea bathed in sunrays, it’s hard not to believe in God.
Where do you find serenity?