Finding Real Peace
by Derek Maul
Okay, fine then. Everyone wants peace. What did John Lennon say? "Give peace a chance...." What did Neville Chamberlain say, waving his little fragment of white paper that had sold out Czechoslovakia to Adolf Hitler? "I bring you peace in our time...." What does every beauty pageant contestant answer, when asked the big question? "World Peace."
Have you ever stood in the middle of your kitchen, dishwasher running, television too loud, baby screaming, siblings fighting, someone trying to tell you about their day, exhaust fan over the stove making that grating sound that is just too much....and heard a loud yell come from somewhere in the back of your head "ALL I WANT AROUND HERE IS A LITTLE PEACE AND QUIET!"
Is that what we want, when we say that we want peace in our world? Do we really mean that we want everyone to leave us alone, that we just want things to go back to the way that they were, that we just don't want to be bothered by anyone else's pain any more? Do we really only understand peace as an "absence of" concept? The absence of noise; the absence of fighting; the absence of distress; the absence of global war and international conflict?
We live in a noisy house! Its not that we yell at each other, or that the TV is always on, or that the dog is torturing the cat again. Living is just plain noisy! Just the other day I was vacuuming, the washer and dryer were chugging along, Naomi and Britney Spears were having some kind of a sing along, and Andrew was playing a loud computer game (educational, he insists!). Then Rebekah came home and the decibels increased as everyone started talking at once. What a bustle! Our house was at peace.
How so? you say. Because of the love that binds us together, the commitment that adds substance to the trust, and the faith and the hope that define our approach to all of the craziness we encounter so much of the time.
With the degree of hostility and strife our world is experiencing today, peace is not the kind of word that naturally springs to mind when we are searching for ways to describe how it is that we feel, and how we might possibly respond. That kind of mind set, though, severely limits God, because we often don't understand what he is capable of achieving in our lives. Remember that Christ says this about peace: "peace I give unto you. Not as the world gives, give I unto you. Let not your hearts be troubled, and do not be afraid."