A few years ago, a hospital nurse was getting frustrated with an old copy machine that produced copies very slowly. On one particular occasion, while waiting for her job to finish, she decided she wasn’t going to let it frustrate her—she would use that time to pray. She made a particular request to the Lord—and her prayer received an answer. The next time she made copies, she prayed again. And again. “Over a period of time,” she said, “I found myself in front of that machine, taking more and more requests to the Lord.” And she kept getting positive responses.
When she shared her experience with some of her fellow workers, they started doing the same thing. It got to the point where they began keeping a list of the requests and the date on which the Lord had answered the prayer. Soon they went from despising that old copy machine to treasuring it.
Even if it seems you can’t change your environment for the better, you can change your perspective and thereby your experiences of it. You may struggle with limitations on how much you can alter your environment, especially in the workplace. Not everyone wants your “soothing music” floating into their ears—not to mention your pet songbird’s chirping. When you can’t quite attain Eden-like beauty on the outside, try doing it within.
“Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God” (Rom. 12:2, NKJV).
Your environment influences your health. As often as you can, establish one that fosters peace and well-being. Find time each day for quiet relaxation in a secluded place where you can pray and find rest for your whole person—mind, body, and spirit. Remember the importance of fresh air and sunlight. Try to have a home situation that allows you to relax. And if this is out of your control, create a restful room, a quiet nook, or an Eden-like space in your backyard (the Japanese have practiced this secret for centuries). Remember the benefits of sight and aromatherapy. Enjoy both music and silence. Choose to take time with your meals. And never forget the wonderfully healthy benefit of hugging and embracing those you love.
Father in heaven, help me to find creative ways to fill my work, home, and internal environment with things that cultivate peace and well-being.