Where do you go when you are trying to escape? While it’s not always physically possible to move yourself to a different location, I believe most of us have a place of mental relief; a dreamland or an imaginary oasis that transports us away from our present reality.
For me, it’s nearly always a location on the water, particularly a dock along clear blue seas where I can lie down and feel warm air wafting over me. I imagine myself taking a nap there as all my stress floats away. For Hannah, it’s the emerald hills of Ireland or the Dover shores of England. She imagines herself as a character in Pride and Prejudice, with her long dress floating behind her as she walks through the open terrain in total freedom. For you, it might be a tropical island, a ragged cliff with crashing seas below, or a valley that looks up to a majestic waterfall. No matter what form they take, our escapelands nearly always have their roots in childhood — a time in our lives before the stresses and pressures of “adulting” took hold. Since I spent a lot of time fishing in tropical places like Mexico as a boy, my mind takes me there. Likewise, since Hannah grew up in Oklahoma, her family would enjoy trips to the Ozarks, so she reverts to places of open space and greenery when she is trying to find peace. While imaginary oases like these can be a blessing when we seek to escape the frantic pace of our routine, the reality is that we shouldn’t have to check out in order to experience tranquility in our everyday lives.
Friend, I’m all for you having a peaceful mental place, but I want you to know that walking in serenity of mind and heart is possible each and every day because of your friend Jesus. Since your Savior was relaxed, you can be, too. He has called you to enjoy a tranquility of spirit that is not dependent upon your external circumstances. In fact, you can be just as relaxed in your workplace, car, or home as in your imaginary dreamland — the key is keeping your focus on the Lord and resting in His strength when you are tempted to carry your burdens alone. Though it’s easy to wish you could revert back to childhood, you are a child of the King of the Universe and His strong arms are holding you tightly and securely, even now. Because He bears the weight of your outcomes, your heart is free to run and soar beyond the highest place your imagination can take you! Isn’t that an awesome thought?