There was once a King who offered a prize to the artist who would paint the best picture of peace.
Many artists tried. The King looked at all the pictures, but there were only two he really liked and he had to choose between them.
One picture was of a calm lake. The lake was a perfect mirror, for peaceful towering mountains were all around it. Over head was a blue sky with fluffy white clouds.
All who saw this picture thought it was a perfect picture of peace.
The other picture had mountains, too. But these were rugged and bare. Above was an angry sky from which rain fell, and in which lightening played. Down the side of the mountain tumbled a foaming waterfall.
This did not look peaceful at all.
But when the King looked, he saw behind the waterfall a tiny bush growing in a crack in the rock. In the bush, a mother bird had built her nest. There, in the midst of the rush of angry water, sat the mother bird on her nest.
The King chose the second picture as the winner. "Because," explained the King, "Peace does not mean to be in a place where there is no noise, trouble, or hard work. Peace means to be in the midst of all those things and still be calm in your heart. That is the true meaning of peace."
Inner peace is a gift we give ourselves when we learn to live in the present moment regardless of what is going on in our world. It takes dedication and commitment to stay centered and grounded. Yet, the rewards are priceless.
How can you choose to bring peace to every situation this holiday season?