There has been many a time when I wanted to run away from my life, to go to some deserted place in search of peace but only to realize that changing location, even less hiding from my world, wouldn’t take my distress away, for wherever I would be, so would also be my turmoil.
Some of us go to extremes in an attempt to find peace. Nations go to war. People try to dismiss their circumstances or opt to numb themselves with substances or temporary highs, often to no avail.
However, as I have had the grace to experience, even in the midst of the loudest chaos, inner peace is very much attainable. It is a sweet and inexplicable phenomenon. It is a treasure that must be protected and intentionally maintained.
Perfect peace enables us to stand with our feet firmly planted on the ground. At the same time, it is constantly under attack by an enemy whose arsenal can dangerously take on many forms and which requires that we remain alert, vigilant and properly armed to counter-attack. Yet, in order to do that, as written by Sun Tzu [a Chinese General] in The Art of War, we must know our enemies and study their war strategies.
With that in mind, do you know the enemy of your peace? Are you aware of the instances when you are the least at peace? Do you know your triggers?
If for instance we were to look at the current political environment, we could easily identify propaganda, fear and division as some of the strategies or tactics being used by the campaigning parties and which may have an effect on our peace. While on a microscopic and personal level, it might be mistrust, unprocessed pain or resentment, to name a few.
In every aspect of life, we are faced with options and choices. Sometimes, even in not choosing we are choosing. When it comes to peace, whether as a world, country or individual, we all have a part to play. The need for our involvement is even amplified when it comes to our own inner peace, for it is who we are as individuals that impacts who we are as a nation or world. For fear generates fear; brokenness generates brokenness; peace generates peace.
Last year, I was on a flight back home when one of the attendants approached me and asked what I did for work. She followed by saying that I had such a peaceful aura and was curious to find out my secret. I laughed and answered, “only if you knew”. At the time, I was working in the financial industry, was involved with several personal projects, with a schedule that seemed chaotic. As I briefly shared with the attendant, whatever sense of peace I had came from within and was the result of a journey that span from brokenness and layers of pain to healing and faith. My life although seemingly chaotic was anchored and sustained by God’s perfect peace.
My peace comes from years of journeying with Abba, surviving a series of wars and being sustained by a continuous longing that is supported by personal choices, one of which is to safeguard my mind and heart, as every aspect of my life [the way I live, respond to life and even how I ultimately impact my world] flows from there.
We live in a world where our ability or even willingness to co-habit as citizens of this one earth is increasingly in danger. Furthermore, we are systematically being subject to a myriad of ideologies, views and agendas that have the propensity to become enemies of our inner peace. Today more than ever, it is imperative that we become good steward over our mind, heart and soul; it is crucial that we are intentional in the pursuit and preservation of peace not only for ourselves but also for our neighbors and our world.
When you have a minute, go to your sacred space, quiet your mind and reflect on the following questions. Ask the Holy Spirit to guide you as you seek to find and maintain your inner peace.
– How is it with you these days? If you were to measure your level of peace right now, where would you find yourself — is your soul agitated within you or are you totally at peace?
– If not, what is keeping you from it? What are the triggers/enemies of your peace?
– How is your lack of peace manifested?
– What do you think must be done to attain and preserve your inner peace?
“Let us therefore make every effort to do what leads to peace…”
Please join us this coming September for our Fall 2016 Retreat, as we slow down to rest and pursue the kind of peace that is able to stand through the layers of fear, global chaos and uncertainties.
Peace that Endures
Friday, September 23rd – Saturday, September 24th
Dolce Conference Center in Norwalk, CT