By B.J. Funk
I have always enjoyed reruns of the Andy Griffith Show, especially when his deputy, Barney, added his unique touch of humor. After Andy died, I started taping all of the Andy Griffith Marathon shows. I don’t want to miss a one. It’s not just that I lose myself in laughter, but I lose myself in thirty minutes of peddling backward into the simplicity of another time. My mind and body slow down when I walk into Mayberry. There’s nothing quite like a visit with Andy on his porch, with Aunt Bee in her kitchen or with Opie as he rides his bike in complete confidence that nothing bad could ever happen on the streets of Mayberry. I loved Barney’s favorite expression dealing with life’s trials: ‘Nip it in the bud!’
Ah, those were the days! Even if you are not a fan, you still realize that the relaxed life portrayed in this show is something we would love to have today. How did we lose that tranquil pace that characterized life in the l950’s? How wonderful if those slower days of yesteryear would reappear. My friends say to me, however, ‘Those days are gone, never to return.’
I’m not sure about that. I believe there is a way to salvage the peace of Mayberry. Just as a script guided Andy and Barney through thought-provoking situations in which they never seemed rushed, you and I have a script that guides us into that same slowed-down feeling. The Bible’s script says to us in Isaiah 32: 17-18, ‘The fruit of righteousness will be peace; the effect of righteousness will be quietness and confidence forever. My people will live in peaceful dwelling places, in secure homes, in undisturbed places of rest.’
While my study notes point to this time in Isaiah as occurring when the worldwide kingdom of God is established for all eternity at the end of time, we can also know this quietness and confidence now. There is a way to bring that awesome peace into your daily hustle. Outer circumstances might not change. A fast pace society is here to stay. But, Scripture tells us that the inside of us—the part in which the Holy Spirits whispers His peace– has a great chance of living in Mayberry again.
I think of my late mother often, but always when I think of inner peace. If her peace could be marketed and sold, the world would pay anything to buy a bottle. She knew the secret of staying connected to her Source, Jesus Christ. I never saw her frustrated or ‘out of sorts.’ She carried peace inside, and it dribbled out on every body who passed her way. I was so blessed…am so blessed…that she was my mother!
I remember a time when everybody around me was in a tizzy! Suddenly, I looked at my serene mother, and she said, ‘I’m perfectly content.’ She was not bragging. She was simply stating a fact. She was content. I think she was not sure why everyone else was not!
The reason most of us do not know this kind of peace is that we are trying to find peace in all the wrong places. Gleaning daily from the Bible’s amazing promises will give us a different perspective on anything troubling us. For today, make this your Bible assignment: read Isaiah 32:17-18 and ask for that inner peace that truly can surpass all earthly understanding.
God’s Word will be better than Mayberry as you allow Him to help you with your anxiety. Allow your heart, soul and mind to concentrate on God and the tremendous truths of His Word, and watch your fluttering and anxious life find peace that you did not know existed. Circumstances likely won’t change. But you will. Who better than God could take your worried heart, replace it with inner peace and “nip your worries in the bud!”