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Our world struggles to find peace. If we do obtain a measure of peace, it’s usually in small doses like receiving a massage or rare moments of quiet. For some, peace simply cannot be experienced so long as the world is full of injustice, tragedy and suffering.
Pastors, Priests and gurus all offer a path to peace, but there is always a catch. We have to buy their program, sign up for their coaching, or get sucked into their weekly services or programs. This would be ok if there were a measurable difference in peace between outsiders and insiders, but this difference doesn’t prove out.
For most of us, peace comes and then fades away.
Is peace supposed to function like a tire with a slow leak? Are we supposed to limp along between service stations that fill us up?
Does living in peace mean we must disengage from our stressful reality? Are those who meditate more peaceful? Scripture tells us that God gives a peace that surpasses our understanding (Philippians 4:7). Does this mean only Christians have peace?
I hope these rhetorical questions help us gain insight. If peace is promised via a framework of belief, then I’m sorry to say it’ll be short-lived. If our fundamental mode of operation is: “Just tell me what to do so I can be at peace.” Then we are setting ourself up to be consumed by countless systems that promise peace by selling us our life’s software.
The problem isn’t the software, it’s the hardware. Our anthropology is bifurcated.
If peace is external, then it’s impossible given the state of the world and humanity. If peace is a morality exchange, then it is only as good as our last repentance. If peace is some spiritual plateau then it is only possible for those who master ritual and practice.
You see folks, peace isn’t up there, or out there or even in there. Peace is ONLY HERE. Peace is only NOW. Lasting peace then is found in the Flow of this Eternal Moment.
Peace is elusive because we can’t or won’t fully be here now. We fear the sobriety of being. The anesthesia of our life numbs us to Presence. We are victim to the gravitational pull of either the future or the past. If we stay under anesthesia too long we become as Rob Bell says either bored or cynical. This is when we conclude there is nothing interesting or new here to create.
While peace is a byproduct of being, it is not distinct from our divine creative impulse. Peace is experienced as the satisfaction of knowing ourself and our role in creating. Both are integral to peace.
Peace is the alignment of our being and doing. These are not two separate operating systems, they are two dimensions of the same life. Once separated, our religion tries to pull us out of our life, while our ambition tries to put us back in, resulting in detachment on both sides.
Detachment is what we call a loss of peace. Peace is an integral, multidimensional Flow. We don’t FIND peace, we ENTER it. We JOIN it. We’ve been going about it all wrong.
Answer this: Are you detached from your divine creative impulse? Do you know what it is? If so, then peace is obtained through reattachment or re-entering the Flow. And now we are back to the message of pastors and gurus, but this time we can recognize the difference between attachment to a delivery system and attachment to our divine source. One is framework, the other is a flow.
Peace does not come from frameworks!
Yes, spiritual frameworks and practice point us to sacred space and to re-enter the Flow, but they’re a means to an end, not the end. Yes, we can know ourself and pursue our dreams (apart from a religious framework) but that too is a means to an end and not the end in itself. There is no flow of peace without unifying both being and doing, not by camping on one side. James said faith without works is dead (James 2:17).
True peace is not out there, one day; it’s in the midst of us (Luke 17:21). It begins in the small, honest, and secure acceptance of what is right now, owning the mess and all. Peace is lived when we see ourselves as we are, dark and light, word and flesh. Peace is when we drop the stone we would cast at ourselves because we finally believe we have no accusers (John 8:7). Peace then is sustained when we give ourselves to our tiny corners of the world, and bring forth the unique, imperfect gift that is us.
This my friends is peace. May you JOIN all of it’s dimensions NOW so you can give yourself away.
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