Peace

“I am leaving you at peace. I am giving you my own peace. I am
not giving it to you as the world gives. So don’t let your hearts be troubled, and don’t be afraid.” John 14:27

If someone thinks that love and peace is a cliche that must have
been left behind in the Sixties, that’s his problem. Love and peace
are eternal.
John Lennon

Jesus this song you wrote. The words are sticking in my throat.
Peace on Earth. Hear it every Christmas time but hope and history
won’t rhyme. So what’s it worth? This peace on Earth.
Peace on Earth – U2

Peace is a concept.
Peace is a wish.
Peace is neither boring nor mundane.
Peace is a gift.

Peace is a spirit.
Peace is elusive.
Peace works with love.
Peace is effusive.
2009 – Me!

So is peace an hour sitting in your easy chair reading the paper?
Perhaps a hot bath with some candlelight and scented oils?

Or is it the moment a boy or girl gets home from school safe and knows they’ve survived another day? Or maybe it’s leaving home behind for school and a parent’s drunken rage?

Maybe it’s being able to get out of your neighbourhood without getting shot? Maybe it’s going to bed with food in your belly?

Perhaps it’s a ceasefire in a country at war? Or maybe a night where the shelling has stopped?

Peace has so many meanings. And peace for each of us is individual in both spirit and execution. In many cases peace implies quiet. But I think a calm is a more apt description. You can have a house full of children laughing and playing and be at peace because of it.

This time of year brings all sorts of messages of peace. Christmas in particular has so much to do with peace around this time here in North America. But let’s face it. We are terrible at doing peace.

With everything so based on financial gain, besting the neighbours and maxing the credit cards, how do we achieve peace? In a secular world, how do you focus on peace?

You may find it odd for me to say this, but maybe Jesus had the right idea. Instead of focusing on you, focus on the poor. Help out at the food bank. Churches are often a good place to look for opportunities to bring peace to others in a time of year rife with insanity.

Focus on someone in need. Do you have an elderly neighbour who is alone? Do your kids know a teen in need? There’s so much you can do. And if you want that real inner peace, doing for others will bring you many rewards.

And you know what? Peace is a gift. And it needs to be shared. If we all do a little, it will make it better for many, many more. So shed your greed and your need and give. We need to rethink life as it stands. You don’t need to be a Christian to know the values are right. Some things are just so. Helping, giving, sharing.

I don’t pretend I have all the answers. Some of you may think me a hippocrite for not believing but attending church. But one of the many things I’ve learned over the years is that you have to find your own path.

My path to peace involves a wonderful church that is a community to me. And they give me opportunities to bring peace to others. I may not share every concept that the people there hold but I know we have more in common than we are different. And you all have your own paths to follow. Maybe that means God. Maybe that means Allah. Or Yahweh. Or Buddha. Or perhaps it means giving back to your community through public opportunities. The how is far less important than the do. So do.

In this season, find your path and find your peace. Take a chance this season and really find one thing you can do for someone else. And don’t be afraid of church even if it isn’t your thing. I guarantee you most will welcome you and be grateful you share the ideals. And take stock of yourself if you do that. I’m betting there will be a little more peace inside you. Give thanks for that too.

I leave you peace. My peace I give to you.

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One Response to Peace

  1. Pete Olsen says:

    very cool…I might rip you off for some of this for one of my classes. Quite profound and honest Larry. Thanks for sharing. I’m off to Vancouver..ttys

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