There was once a king who offered a prize to the artist who would paint the best picture of peace. Many artists tried. The kig looked at all the pictures but there were only two he really liked and he had to choose between them.
One was a picture of a calm lake. The lake was a perfect mirror for the towering mountains all around it. Overhead was a blue sky with fluffy white clouds. All who saw the painting thought it was the perfect picture of peace.
The other painting had mountains, too. But these were rugged and bare. Above was an angry sky, from which rain fell and lightning played. Down the side of the mountain tumbled a foaming waterfall. This did not look peaceful at all.
But when the king looked closely, he saw growing behind the waterfall a tiny bush growing in a crack in the rock. In the bush, a bird had built her neast. There, in the midst of the angry water, sat a mother bird on her nest - in perfect peace.
Which picture do you think won the prize? The second painting. Do you know why?
"Because," said the king, "peace does not mean to be in a place where there is no noise or trouble or hard work. Peace means to be in the midst of all those things and still be calm in heart. That is the real meaning of peace.
May we be blessed as we discover calm and peace in the midst of our lives.