There once was a king who offered a prize to the artist who would paint the best picture of peace. Many artists tried and submitted their work. The king looked at all the pictures. There were only two he really liked, and he had to choose between them.
One picture was of a calm lake, perfectly mirroring the peaceful, towering mountains all around it. Overhead was blue sky with fluffy, white clouds. It was the favorite of all who saw it. Truly, they thought, it was the perfect picture of peace.
The other picture had mountains, too, but these were rugged and bare. Above was an angry sky from which rain fell and in which lightening played. Down the side of one mountain tumbled a foaming waterfall. A less peaceful picture would be difficult to imagine. But when the king looked closely, he saw beside the waterfall a tiny bush growing in a crack in the rock. In the bush a mother bird had built her nest. There, in the midst of the rush of angry water, sat the mother bird on her nest in perfect peace.
Which picture would you have selected? The king chose the second picture. Do you know why?
“Because,” explained the king, “peace does not mean to be in a place where there is no noise, trouble, or hard work. Peace means to be in the midst of all these things and still be calm in your heart. This is the real meaning of peace.”