Wednesday, May 7, 2008

A Tranquil Life

A tranquil heart
gives life to the flesh,
but, envy makes
the bones rot.

Proverbs 14:30

A hardened mouth, listing a multitude of ailments, sits across from me. On the outside this woman appears outrageously successful; nevertheless, it’s apparent that appearances don’t tell the whole story. She has proven that she can make money and no doubt there are numerous individuals who envy her mountaintop, but, it hasn’t prevented her from being envious of what she doesn’t have. Envy is literally sucking her bones dry.

It’s tough these days to not look at what others have and not be a little envious. The gulf between the haves and the have not’s widens daily. The objects of envy vary—money, job success, high achieving children or grandchildren, perfect marriages—the list goes on. Not a single one of these objects brings life.

Achieving a tranquil heart is an intentional act on the part of a Jesus follower. Bookstores are jammed with books and DVD’s touting that their program will bring about a “peaceful” mind, or the “tranquil” life. Nevertheless they, too, recognize that tranquility doesn’t come without a concentrated focus on the part of the individual.

The difference between the tranquility of a Jesus follower and worldly expertise is that Jesus gives us a picture of how true tranquility looks. When we know the life of Jesus, intimately, we are on our way to a life-giving tranquil heart. It’s the knowing that is intentional. Getting to know Jesus takes time, but, the reward is life itself. Envy will no longer be able to suck out our marrow.

Jesus, you never succumbed
to the society around you.
Thank you for showing me
that it is possible to live
a life of tranquility.

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