Sometimes my mind goes quiet. Totally silent. The world keeps going, racing along its quickening track to somewhere bigger and brighter and somehow different, and I stop because the constant chatter of my mind has dulled to nothing. And I close my eyes and listen. To the wind blow through the trees or the snow fall. To cars as they pass by.
After a few moments, I hear what my soul was listening for... the reason why my mind went silent... more a feeling than a word... and far softer and quieter than the thoughts that try to take its place.
And in a breath everything makes sense.
Life seems brighter. People feel better. Light somehow looks more pure. Music plays in my heart - a song I've never heard but that somehow sounds more familiar than anything I've heard before - rushing through me like the wind through Autumn leaves. All the pain and sorrow and despair is gone.
Right now, I know completely that God has a Plan for me. That I'm going in the right direction. And while I still have a long way to go, I can find peace and happiness along the way. This is what happiness feels like. This is the feeling that I spend my life cultivating. When life loses its complexity and becomes a thousand times simpler. Keep the commandments. Trust in God. And everything will work out.
This is why I love the gospel. The feeling that makes everything worthwhile. The gift I wish I could give to people who are struggling with their faith. The glimpse of hope and peace and love that fills every need and makes me into a better man... and colors my every dream. The inspiration behind the poems I've written for a decade, trying to capture the essence of a moment, the light through the trees, the brilliance of a magnificent sunset through a smog-stained sky.
I know that tomorrow will bring another set of storm clouds into life. That the next few weeks will push me and the next few months may try my faith. The truest calms of nature come only before the greatest storms. But, today, before I descend into the valley to walk beside God, He gives me the chance to stand on the mountaintop. To see beyond my imperfections and simply be a son of God.
This is the gospel. This is life.
This is peace.