There are many ideas of what the word “Peace” means. Dictionaries all seem to focus on a definition that emphasizes the absence of war, conflicts or other violent events. This understanding of the word has been the focus of anti-war protests of every generation. These protests were oftentimes not very “peaceful”; events replete with noisy marches, noisier chants and speeches and even frequent violent and destructive behavior.
The concept of peace has inspired many artists to create symbols, structures and songs meant to remind us of the necessity, and our responsibility, to press on toward the pursuit of world peace. The “peace symbol” with its three lines inside of a circle was originally created by a British artist as a graphic of the semaphore letters “N’ and “D” to symbolize the words “Nuclear Disarmament”. American hippies exported the symbol across the pond in the 1960’s where it became our “peace symbol”. John Lennon’s Plastic Ono Band released the single “Give Peace a Chance” in 1969. The lyrics cite all the things people are talking about and trying out and the singer urges us to “give peace a chance” as if peace is something that will grow like bean sprout if we just let it. Then there is the “Peace Bridge”, built in 1927 and named to commemorate 100 years of peace between the United States and Canada. Traveling on the Pearce Bridge is not very peaceful.
Peace has been associated with harmony, enlightenment, understanding, passiveness, calmness, self-denial and a host of “isms”. But, what if peace was a state of mind wholly independent of external correlation or qualification? In other words, what if peace could exist regardless of one’s station, circumstances or situation? Well, it can.
Have you ever heard the phrase “peace of mind”? How about the saying “I you are still calm, then you obviously don’t understand the situation”? The phrase is the response to the saying that follows it. In the midst of turmoil, peace of mind is a difficult thing to achieve. The tyranny of the moment would dictate that panic is in order. Chaos thrives in an environment void of peace. Stress is the “anti-peace”. In the Bible’s 57th chapter of the book of Isaiah, God declares “There is no peace for the wicked”. He defines the wicked as “those who still reject me are like the restless sea which is never still but continually churns up mud and dirt.”
To have peace, one must first know peace. To know peace, one must know the source of peace. I’ll give you a hint; it cannot be purchased at Wal-Mart or online. Peace is a gift given by God. It is given like a life ring thrown to one who has fallen overboard and is being overwhelmed by the waves. Peace is the “calm” that helps us carry on. It is the Spirit that steadies the hand upon the stick of a plane about to land on the Hudson River. Peace is not the absence of troubles. Peace is knowing and trusting God who can deliver us through, or from, any of those troubles. That peace that surpasses all understanding is my sincerest wish for you.
© 2013 Curt Savage Media