How do we face a challenge? Dictionaries help us understand that a challenge originally was an accusation or a reproach. Apparently, if you were accused or reproached, then you answered by drawing battle lines. We have come to regard a challenge as the command to man our battle stations. So a challenge is a summons to demonstrate our skills and to prove our worth. It calls us to assert our identity and to stand up and be counted.

There is no escape from the world of challenges. We cannot just "be" any more. We each must prove our value and show that we have something significant to contribute to the world. This approach to life is illustrated by a phrase I heard the other day. "If you're not living on the edge, you're taking up too much space."

So where have our times of silence gone?
What have we done with just watching the stars and contemplating them in silence?
Where are the peaceful interludes that are supposed to make life livable?

One of my pot plants recently got into the act of being "challenged" and put out some particularly lovely blooms. This plant's beauty was due more to the weather and the soil than my skills, but it was sure an attractive joy to see. I would walk outside just to look at it and smile at its beauty.

A visitor was so impressed she urged me, "Put it in the local show next week. It would certainly win a prize." She even offered her expertise to help me prune and arrange it for show.

Be at peace; just "be."
Strip, cut, prune, and arrange those lovely blooms for a battle field? I couldn't. They were lovely simply because they were at peace.

Try it for yourself some time. Be at peace; just "be."

Remember — the challenge is over. Jesus said, "Take heart! I have conquered the world." (John 16:33) Rest in his love. Rest in his peace. Rest in his beauty. Just "be."