Where do you go when you need to find peace? Do you head to a favorite place when you feel disquiet or distress? How does it help you?
I’m blessed that I live fifteen minutes from Pymatuning, the biggest lake in Pennsylvania (which empties into the Shenango River), and a three minute walk from Conneaut Lake, the biggest spring fed (natural) lake in the state. My favorite poem, W.B. Yeats’ “The Lake Isle Of Innisfree” reflects the narrator’s love for the water, what he found there, and what he carried with him away from the lake. Recently I desperately needed peace and that’s where I went to find it: I threw my kayak in the car and headed for Pymatuning.
God’s gift of peace through hearing the natural rhythms of “lake water lapping with low sounds by the shore” and the physical rhythms of paddling helped get me on the path to a spiritual peace.
God uses the natural to get us to the spiritual. Yeats: “And I shall have some peace there, for peace comes dropping slow/Dropping from the veils of the morning….” (If you’d like to hear a wonderful oral interpretation, listen to Anthony Hopkins’ recitation on the Poetry Out Loud website www.poetryoutloud.org.)
My favorite Scripture also reflects peace in encouraging me to have confidence, because I will see God’s goodness in the land of the living (Psalm 27:13-14).
But I needed to go to the lake to be reminded of His goodness in my “land.”
Where is your place?