A couple of artists were commissioned to put to canvas their ideas of peace.
The first painted a serene rural scene in the centre of which was a country house. Adjacent to the home were fertile fields and an abundant harvest. The undulating roads stretched in different directions from the home towards the horizon. A lazy haze hovered over the paddocks.
One could almost hear the rustle of the ripened wheat, swaying in the gentle breeze. A friendly sun shone across the blissful picture of calm and contentment. Cows lay lazily under the shady trees, chewing their cud.
The second artist presented a totally different concept of peace. A picture of destruction raged in his picture. Trees swayed to and fro on a storm-lashed mountainside and in the valley. The sky was dark and gloomy, relieved only by the zigzag flashes of lightning. A roaring waterfall lunged furiously over the cliff edge, causing havoc in the valley below.
How could the artist call this violent, turbulent scene a picture of peace?
On a rock projecting from the cliff, sheltered by an overhanging rock, calmly sat a little bird on its nest, seemingly unmindful of the howling storm or of the raging waters which plunged downward nearby. There the little bird sat in peace, with no fear, unperturbed and undisturbed.
Every time I read a paper or see the news I am reminded that the world we live in bears greater resemblance to the second picture than the first. Scenes of turmoil, tribulation, strain, stress and storm have become so commonplace that it is only the most horrific events that become newsworthy.
However, no matter how blasé or hardened we think we have become, there still lies in all of us a desire for peace, serenity, calmness.
Sadly most of the dramas that do occur around the world are beyond our control which can add to our feeling of hopelessness and anxiety.
Fortunately this doesn’t have to be the case. We can be like that little bird in the midst of all the turmoil.
God said, ‘‘I will keep you in perfect peace if you keep your mind upon me and trust in me’’.
The circumstances may not change but our ability to withstand them certainly does.
- George Deeble, Euroa Christian Fellowship