The Fruit of Peace
By Z Zoccolante
“The fruit of the spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control” – Galatians 5:22-23
The Bible verse above was one I heard as a kid. Growing up in Hawaii, I’d picture all kinds of tropical fruits in the garden, all these ways in which trees show the world who they are. A mango tree produces mango fruit. A lychee tree, lychee, and so on.
People are the same even though we don’t have branches and fruits. We have words, actions, and behavior that become our character. These things become who we are.
As an adult one of the phrases I hear frequently is not to believe someone’s words but their actions. Anyone can tell you pretty words, dripping with all the honey, promises, or love your insides may long to hear. But what do they do? Watch how they treat themselves, others, you. People tell you who they are, audibly or not. But often we choose to ignore it. Watch the fruit. What’s their character? . . .
Today’s tiny thought is on Peace.
In our busy world of chaotic beautiful things, peace is something we all seek. I find that even when I have a day off, it’s difficult to stop my mind from chattering about all the things I “should” be doing or all the background noise that filters in.
One of the things I ask my clients is, “Can you allow yourself to feel safe when you actually are safe?”
For most of us to experience peace, we have to feel safe. Of course, this means physical safety, but also safe and protected from that onslaught of thoughts and things our brain throws at us to keep us awake at night or to keep us from enjoying and being present in the moment.
When I take my dog to the grassy knoll to play, I may be processing some event or emotion, listening to a podcast or audio book, or mentally planning or mulling over all the things I “have to” do. My dog, on the other hand, is at the grassy knoll. She’s thinking of the sun on her fur, the grass against her feet, her body in sprinting sensation. She’s thinking of the ball. Only the ball. She is present in the moment.
By watching her, it makes me realize how much of the time I am not present in the moments of my life, especially when I alone. And those are the times that I would think I could be the most present with myself because there is no one else to attend to but myself.
Maybe our culture teaches us this wandering mind. Maybe it’s something we’re born with. But we can find times to create peace. To teach our mind peace and presence.
Peace feels like the eye of a storm. Things can be swirling around but you are still. It’s like the moving photos in New York city where someone is standing for hours on the sidewalk and they play the tape in fast forward so you see everyone flying by in a light show of streaks of color while the one person has their presence untethered.
Peace feels like being wrapped in an embrace, being held there, safe and secure. Peace feels like talking to my best friend on the phone and telling her my deepest fears and having her sit there accepting all of me.
God says, “Be still and know that I am God.” When I hear I hear God say to me:
There is nothing for you to do
Warm in the sunlight
The wind in your hair
A night full of stars above you
You are small
Like a grain of sand in the cosmos of all creation
And still, you are a part of it all
And still, I love you with all my heart
And still, and still, and still,
I love you
And still, you are here
And still, my breath is in your lungs.
In the world, where there is so much to do all the time, and we are made to feel as though we are not doing enough – Be still.
In the breath between things, we can find that peace. We can be in the present moment and only this moment because there is nothing else to do.
All that exists is right now, and right now, and right now.
*And check out a new episode of the Throwing Up Rainbows Podcast Season 2 here.