As I consider, each week, how to find a peaceful, quiet heart during Advent, I think of the candle. It's a simple, constant presence at Christmas time.
The reality is, you get in the tub, the water's not the right temperature, you forgot to light the candle, your kid(s) are hollering for you ... or ... even if you get all the physical elements right, it's honestly your own brain that keeps you from relaxing. You get into the perfect tub, and your mind starts to berate you with all the things you ought to be doing.
Why do we seek peace in such temporal things? Peace of the spirit is a spiritual state, not a physical one. Some calm themselves by hiking to mountain tops, or by smoking, or by drinking, or by exercise, or by therapy.
There is only one balm for the spirit. It reminds me of Naaman, in the Old Testament, who wanted a cure. The cure he was given was not what he expected. "Go bathe myself in that dirty old river? You've got to be kidding!" He wanted a more impressive healing.
And we say, "Read my Bible every day? You've got to be kidding!" Pray? Pray again? Rest our hearts in Jesus? Yes, that's the way. I can't tell you what a difference it's made in my life to simply read the Bible each morning. It is a slow dripping of a healing, but it is so effective. Reading through my Bible is a reminder to me that God is the author of a very long, very large story. He has it in hand; I don't have to worry whether He can write my life story well; He's a much bigger author than that.
(This post is the second in a series on Advent, with Floss's "A Pause in Advent" posts.)