As I left work enjoying the first warm spring day of the year, I noticed some words written on the sidewalk in white chalk. I walked closer to read, what turned out to be a very profound phrase, “Don’t allow anger to destroy your peace!" The quote, signed by a neighborhood artist named, De la Vega, resounded in my mind and immediately uplifted my spirit.
It appears that I have become a fan of De la Vega since reading, on previous occasions, several other sidewalk renderings penned in the temporary stain of white chalk. One of my favorites was a series of white chalk animations of a lone fish, dreaming of leaving a small fish bowl. The first image featured the fish swimming in a classic round fishbowl; the second, showed the fish jumping out of the bowl and unto the sidewalk, happily walking on newly found legs. The caption read, “Become your dream!”
The most recent sidewalk rendering, again written with the simplicity of white chalk, simply stated, “Praying confronts God.” Although I didn't quite agree with the statement, I easily understood the thought behind the words. There are times when praying confronts God; however, the confrontation is always tempered by our understanding that, at the appointed time, we will understand the reason behind God's process.
I am not certain what issues prompted De la Vega to begin promoting his or her art on the sidewalks of New York City. —A place where people tread so easily without paying much attention. Maybe it was just to offer pause and pleasure to weary pedestrians, in a city where speedily walking to and from one’s destination is the norm. However, pausing to read the words, I felt inclined to silently thank him or her for the gift of gently reminding us, never to allow anger the power to steal our peace. —Peace that we so often and easily relinquish to any errant passerby who crosses our path.
Remember, the power of bestowing and maintaining personal peace belongs only to God. When you relinquish your personal peace to someone else, they become your god. —Since, ultimately, you worship them enough to offer the sacrifice of God’s peace in your life, in return for their turmoil.
Peace in your life is the highest level of living; it is, in essence, a complete lack of conflict mentally, physically, and spiritually. It allows your spirit’s communal connection to God to flow effortlessly. On more than one occasion Jesus said it very clearly to the people in His midst, “Peace be unto you.” —So, as De La Vega so aptly put it; “Don’t allow anger to destroy your peace.” L.
Study Reference: Exodus 14:14
From: "Holding Your Peace" In The Master's Hands: 365 Daily Devotions For Everyday Living.
Copyright © 2014 by Lavona E. Campbell
photo: Grazia Loves Italy