Mary’s Song: Knowing the Peace of God  |  By Lauren Shriver
Week 2, Day 10  |  December 8

As I take a moment to think about what I am thankful for, a wide smile crosses my face.

Does the list ever end? Nearing the top of my list is my gratitude for the present moment, the here and now. As someone who used to spend more than enough time worrying about the past and future, grounding myself in the reality of “now” has helped me breathe deeper, love better, worry less, and find peace in God.

I continually come back to this quote from Wendell Berry: “When despair for the world grows in me…I come into the peace of wild things who do not tax their lives with forethought of grief. I come into the presence of still water. And I feel above me the day-blind stars waiting with their light. For a time I rest in the grace of the world, and am free.”5

When I become overwhelmed with grief or anxiety and lose my sense of presence in the moment, I return to thoughts of God’s creation and the beauty and serenity it evokes. Words fail as the masterpiece of creation speaks. By stopping the incessant string of thoughts that wipe away my peace of mind, I can realize that these distractions don’t have weight if I don’t give it to them. Being mindful of what we have to be thankful for is one easy way to return to the stability of God’s peace and grace. God is available to us here in this moment, seen and felt through our lives and the lives of those around us. What a soothing sense of gratitude that brings!

PRAYER: God of all creation, thank you for this moment, here and now.
May we slow our hectic lives long enough to catch a glimpse of the still waters of your peace and grace. Amen.

Lauren Shriver joined FBC earlier this year and has become involved with many areas of the music ministry. She is a cellist in the Greensboro area, teaching private lessons and performing frequently throughout the Triad.