In the context of the tumultuous year we’ve just closed the books on, experiencing inner peace may sound as luxurious and foreign as an all-inclusive tropical destination that’s probably not safe to visit just yet.
If trying to experience inner peace in the midst of our dicey times seems like a New Year’s resolution you’ll never achieve in the coming year, the good news is there are certain steps you can take to help you get there—like the following three.
1. Start each day with God.
I know it’s tempting to grab your phone or turn on the TV first thing in the morning for a “quick peek” at whatever you’re itching to see.
Maybe that’s a favorite social media channel with the latest on family and friends.
Or a news site that offers the latest headlines and up-to-the-minute controversies.
Or your email inbox, where all those critical messages have been waiting all night for you.
But I encourage you to put all of that aside and spend some focused time with God first.
Take 10, 20, 30 minutes or more and seek Him through prayer and reading of the Word.
Of course, if you want to make Bibles & Bathrobes™ part of that time, that’s awesome! But even those are meant to be only a primer for your more focused time with Him.
If you spend time with God before delving into all of those potentially-disturbing distractions, you’ll be more suited to deal with them from a posture of peacefulness only He can provide.
2. Adopt a with-God, take-control mindset.
I don’t know about you, but it seems like there’s a growing chorus of voices clamoring at me from all directions telling me what I should and shouldn’t do.
Since I’m a bit of a rebel (okay, maybe more than just a bit), that just doesn’t cut it with me.
Instead, I prefer to march to the beat of a different drummer.
Or make up a beat that’s all my own.
Follow the road less traveled.
Or cut a path through the thicket to create a route that never existed.
And to do all of that with God as my ultimate Guide as I do.
That kind of approach goes against the grain of many in our society—especially those who don’t care what God thinks or even believe He exists in the first place.
Although I want to help such individuals come to know Jesus for the first time or come back to Him if they’ve wandered off, we just don’t share perspectives on a great many things.
Instead of worrying about what others think, I want to listen to and please God.
Remember that you don’t have to passively absorb all the chaos around you; respond in-kind to negative sentiments expressed in various contexts; or do what others tell you (okay, there are some things you have to do if you don’t want to end up in jail).
Instead, I encourage you to follow God’s direction and adopt a take-control attitude with Him as you do.
3. Limit your bad-news exposure.
Speaking of chaos and negative sentiments…
As I mentioned recently, we decided to move from satellite TV to a streaming provider instead.
In addition to saving lots of money, things have become much more peaceful around our house, too.
That’s not because there’s anything serene about streaming, but because our country internet can be so sluggish that we often have to limit access to one device at a time.
When things are especially congested, sometimes we just give up and opt for the quiet.
All of that has made me much more aware of how much time I used to spend either online or watching TV.
And often, I was watching the news or reading something on the internet that got me riled up.
What I’ve realized within our need to ration our internet access is that there’s a whole world of peacefulness just waiting for me to turn everything off.
In our always-on world, our exposure to bad news can be endless.
And that’s not good for our mental or spiritual health.
Instead, I encourage you to set aside a specific amount of time each day for being online or watching TV to catch up on whatever you need—and then turn things off and step into the quiet and peacefulness that’s waiting for you there.
This post is adapted from Sue’s Perspectives column in the latest edition of The Empowered Traveler™ Newsletter. If you’re not already a subscriber, you can do that here: Subscribe to Sue’s newsletter.