We’ve just come through the turmoil and rancor of national and state elections. Some rejoice, others protest. We are a divided country and it will take time to heal. While we may be tempted to shout more hurtful remarks, I trust that most of us seek to return to a time of peace with a generous spirit.
Prayers for peace are frequently a part of our devotions. We desire peace among the nations of the world and freedom to pursue personal tranquility of mind and spirit. “Let there be peace on earth,” we may sing; “and let it begin with me.”
While we desire peace in our world we will always be faced with discord, disappointment, and divisions among people. If we think the answer to preserving peace is to be in control of others forcing them to provide the peace we desire, a reality check will discover failed attempts. All empires eventually collapse. Some problems can be corrected, but our
sense of peace must go deeper than controlling our environment. The only place where ultimate peace can be found is in a personal friendship with God who is known by many names or no name. This is an internal peace discovered by putting our ultimate trust in the Source of all Being. It is the practice of freeing oneself from issues of conflict to reside in intimacy with God. There are occasions when we are actively capable of making changes for the good of ourselves and others, and there are times when we need to let go of control issues and find our peace in quiet nonviolence. Many saints lived in turbulent times and were persecuted. But even in their pain they found hope for themselves and others through prayers for peace and active nonviolent thoughts and words, remembering that God reserves the last word for God’s Self.
“Do not worry about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:6-7)