Chapter 12. Be Still

I’m sure with even a minimal amount of Bible reading you recall the account when Jesus and His Disciples were going across a body of water and a storm approached tossing the boat to the point the Disciples feared for their lives.  Being frantic the Disciples awakened Jesus questioning how could He sleep during such a time as this, needing Him to do something, or for certain they would perish.  You may remember Jesus, after seeing His followers quite disturbed, rose to the occasion by commanding the wind and waves to, “be still”.  Whenever I tell the story, I always ask my listeners, “To whom was He speaking?  To the storm or to those who feared?”  No doubt, He who created weather could produce the calm needed for the safe passage of the boat, but I believe He was speaking more to those who feared.  “Peace, be still.”

You’re going to find, many times, you will be on your last nerve when it comes to dealing with some fellow inmates or guards and you may go to a place, within your emotions, you really do not wish to travel.  You do not want to strike back with your mouth nor your hands.  In fact, you do not want to strike back even in your mind, for this is where the thought will originate before either your mouth or hands, or both, will involve you in something you will regret later.  This will be the opportune time to recognize, “peace” only comes by, “being still”, and I guarantee the storm will pass quickly enough so you can get on with your life.

There have been times when I have wanted to strike back, mostly with my mouth, because of something occurring which did not sit well with me.  It would have been easier, no doubt, for me to respond with words more cutting than a knife, which may have resulted in my having to support them with the use of my hands.  I’ll share one situation:  when I was locked up an inmate and I were exchanging words when it became heated, getting the attention of the others who were prompting for a fight.  The circle was formed and I realized, even with the two guards at a distance among 280 men, it would not be a good situation.  Standing toe-to-toe I decided to turn my back, first after closing my mouth and proceeded to walk away.  My opponent remarked, “Oh, I see.  You’re scared to fight!”  I turned around and approached him, and now he getting ready anticipating the first blow when I asked, “What was less fearful to do?  To hit you or turn my back to you, knowing you could hurt me?”  The circle began making their catcalls, still wanting to see a fight, yet they parted like the Red Sea when Moses and the Israelites passed, when I left the makeshift arena.

I had decided, then, the only way I would find “peace” was by, “being still” with my mouth, but only after I accepted within myself, which prevented my hands from getting involved, which would have resulted in both of us losing more than just a fight.

In each situation you will face, you will be given the opportunity to seek peace by learning how to simply be still.

Chapter 13

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