Recently, in one of my daily devotionals, I came across this: At the top of the 1,000-foot mountainous peaks of Meteora, Greece, monasteries have been built…hundreds of years ago. Their inaccessible location provides safety and, at the same time, offers them a chance to escape the cares and concerns of the world.
Up until the last century, goods and visitors, had to be winched up in a basket that was hand powered by the monks. Those who made the ascent found the ride a terrifying experience, what with the basket swaying and swinging.
One of these tourists, recording his adventure, admitted to getting nervous about halfway up the cliff. That’s when he noticed the rope holding the basket seemed old and frayed. Thinking that he might relieve his fear, at least somewhat, he asked one of the brothers who was riding with him, “How often do you change the rope?” Without a moment’s hesitation, the reply came back, “Whenever it breaks!”
That kind of response doesn’t give a person a feeling of security, does it? Sadly, those who search for security are often forced to confess that the implementation of countless security measures have not made the world feel all that much safer. Those of us who are considered “senior” would have to admit that the world seems less secure than it was 50 or more years ago!
As a child I cannot recall a time when I was the least bit worried about safety or security outside my little family circle. My dad was the pillar of security for our family, and while we were cautioned about such things as talking to strangers, wandering down into the hollow that was near our home, etc., in my child’s mind I didn’t give a thought to such things that might risk my security, although, I didn’t like going to our basement alone, since it was filled with all manner of things that go bump in the night!
But seriously, absolute security? Is there such a thing? Is there anytime when we are totally secure? A time when we experience that sense of being secure, that feeling of peace (that passes all understanding?). How do we achieve that peace? Ralph Waldo Emerson, wrote in one of his essays, “Nothing can bring you peace but yourself”, and I wonder.
That sounds like my peace is completely my doing. my creation. If I carry that forward then it becomes my self-controlled life. My self-constructed peace. My own self-contained security. My own self-directed everything. All by myself. I don’t need family, friends, community, faith, God, etc. I just need ME! Is that even possible?
I can’t agree with Emerson on this point. My peace, my security, my everything is dependent on my belief, on my faith. Jesus tells me “My peace I give unto you…” Without the presence of God in my life, I have no anchor, I have no real direction.
So, Mr. Emerson, I can’t really accept your statement that nothing can bring me peace but myself. When I was 10 I tried acting like my own little god, like so many other children. Granted, I believe that even the most faithful among us forget our faith from time to time, and we “act like little gods.” It didn’t work at age 10, and it doesn’t work as an adult. “When I was a child I thought as a child…when I became an adult I put away childish things…“
One of those things I picked up as an adult was the realization that I needed God in my life, and people to love and people who love me. These are the pillars of my security, of my peace. I am like that guy in the basket, on the face of a cliff, supported only by the frayed rope of my faith. But you see, God has already told me that His grace is sufficient and I need not be afraid.
That is security. Thanks be to God.
For What It’s Worth.