It may be my frame of mind but I feel this world is currently undergoing a major shift and it is very difficult to find PEACE these days. I try and stay away from too much news but reviewing the headlines today, the Middle East is in constant turmoil, the unfortunate circumstances in Ferguson, Missouri and the horrific murder of a journalist I have to ask myself why? There is ISIS, Taliban, Al Qaeda and then so many natural disasters from flash flooding in Arizona to earthquakes in California, border’s unsecured and accidental deaths, wrecks, fires and cancer and illness. Our world is in constant turbulence and with instant access through Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, streaming of the news across your computer or TV; your mind and thoughts are in constant motion and being fed with anything but PEACE. Depression, worry, heartache, struggling relationships, deadlines, exams, insecurity, and traffic whew…The demands at work seem greater, your responsibilities at home are heavier and before you know it the weight of the world is laying heavy upon your shoulders. Ugh, who said anything about PEACE?
That is when I say enough and I have to retreat to “Takin Time Out” and sit quietly drawing closer to my Lord and Savior trusting him in the midst of a messy day. I have to really focus and meditate to find that inner calm, PEACE in His Presence, the minute I start to feel stressed I have to detach myself from the disturbance around me. Just a few verses come to mind. John 14:27 “PEACE I leave with you; my PEACE I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.” John 16:33 “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have PEACE. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart I have overcome the world.” One of my favorite Beth Moore Bible studies was on the Fruit of the Spirit, she taught us to truly live beyond ourselves by maintaining that intimate relationship with God. Yes it was all about Galatians 5:22-26 “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, PEACE, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law. And those who are Christ’ have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. If we all live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit. Let us not become conceited, provoking one another, envying one another.” If you haven’t experienced one of her bible studies I encourage you to check it out…she has a unique style in teaching like none other.
When I hear the word PEACE, I think of High School and the required reading of War & PEACE a book written in 1869 about Napoleon’s invasion of Russia in 1812. Audrey Hepburn and Henry Fonda starred in the classic movie in 1956…two main story lines are complex and intertwined so we must admit the title fits the story well. The author Leo Tolstoy was an incredible story teller he was orphaned at age 9 and brought up by an elderly aunt his life portrayed anything but PEACE.
I think of the 60’s, Vietnam war, hippies with hip hugger pants, wide belts, sandals or no shoes, crazy daisy flowered shirts, headbands, fringed vests and of course the PEACE sign necklace. Can’t you just envision photos from Woodstock, or maybe you participated in the historical event. Can’t you hear the music? Are you swaying back and forth a little CCR, Janis Joplin, Crosby Stills, Nash & Young, Santana to name a few, can you feel the rain, smell the outdoors and ewe all those people and unique body odor and whatever they were smokin. Do you see people holding up two fingers? PEACE man PEACE, it was all about PEACE, Love, Music and Freedom.
Then there are the PEACE Corps, a government organization, made up of volunteers who travel overseas making a real difference in the lives of real people. Financial PEACE University a program designed by Dave Ramsey. I also think of Rick Warren from California and pastor of Saddleback church author of, “The Purpose Driven Life” along with many other books helped launch through their church The PEACE Plan, it is their response to the five global giants that negatively affect our world; Spiritual emptiness, self-serving leadership, poverty, disease and illiteracy. They help teach to overcome each of those giants by planting churches that promote reconciliation, equipping servant leaders, assisting the poor, caring for the sick and educating the next generation. They feel there aren’t enough doctors, teachers, missionaries to solve the world’s problem but there are an army of ordinary people in the church waiting to be mobilized to do something only the church can do, by spreading the hope of Jesus Christ. I personally feel God is the only way in truly finding PEACE! Their motto, “The PEACE Plan is ordinary people, empowered by God, making a difference together wherever they are.”
WOW, I am an ordinary person…and so are many of you. Maybe PEACE is really about reaching out and helping others through their misfortune or time of need. Thinking more about others than ourselves, it truly can give you PEACE. How many of you have sent the PEACE Lily a beautiful plant to comfort someone who has lost a loved one or who was ill? Doesn’t it make sense it is called a PEACE Lily? What about those tidbits; “PEACE of Mind, PEACE and Quiet and PEACE Be with You.” I love Wayne Dyer’s quote, “PEACE is the result of retraining your mind to process life as it is, rather than as you think it should be.” PEACE really begins within…it is something we have to create in our hearts, soul and mind, no matter how chaotic the outside world is we have the power. It is an energy force we must tap into. Another great quote “PEACE it does not mean to be in a place where there is no noise, trouble or hard work. It means to be in the midst of those things and still be calm in your heart. Author Unknown.
As I am sitting here sipping on the luscious, scrumptious, savoring flavor of my China Tip Green tea my mind racing of all the things I have to do, I breathe in deeply…exhale slowly and think of PEACE. It is but a single word…one that we all strive to live for…harmony within. As Albert Einstein stated “PEACE cannot be kept by force, it can only be achieved by understanding.” I hope you set time aside “Takin Time Out”, if not maybe this week you can sit awhile and think about what PEACE means to you…how can you impact this world to bring about more PEACE…what things do you need to let go of that is causing turmoil in your life and yes we may be ordinary people but one who is created to make a difference in this world! May PEACE be with you until next time my dear friends…