I was out of breath as I neared the peak of the summit. My gait had changed from a run to a walk as I bent over to catch my breath. And as I turned my head to wipe the sweat off my forehead, I caught a glimpse in my peripheral of the oranges, yellows, and reds that engulfed the valley. That glimpse made me stop, stand up straight and just soak in the beauty that surrounded me. “This is why I do this,” I thought to myself. Not for the races or the medals or podiums, which can so easily overtake my place of solace and turn it into drudgery. No, I do this because I love it and I’m grateful for what my body can do and where it can take me. I do this because it brings me joy and lets me escape. I do this because it lets me reclaim the stillness.
Standing on that mountain, another thought occurred to me: how easy it is to fall out of love with the very One that makes our heart beat simply because life has a way of letting the day-to-day routine turn our source of pleasure into a source of obligation or stress. We forget how to slow down and enjoy ourselves because we are so worried about crossing another thing off our to-do list. We take for granted (or maybe even resent) the thing that we longed for, that we prayed so desperately for, simply because we’ve forgotten how to enjoy it. We’ve lost our place of solace and aren’t sure how to take it back.
Reclaiming solace looks different for everyone. But for me, it took changing my heart posture, and automatically, I was given a fresh perspective. It looked like re-examining my to-do list and sitting still long enough to notice the beauty surrounding me.
“And this righteousness will bring peace. Yes, it will bring quietness and confidence forever” (Isaiah 32:17).
How will you reclaim solace?