Illuminating Peace (day two)
You can find the first Peace reflection by Joanna Dunn here: http://pastormomjdunn.tumblr.com/post/69525010066/illuminating-advent-peace-yesterday-we-started
Joanna challenged us to let there be peace on Earth by beginning with ourselves. How are we agents of peace? I have voices swirling in my head that remind me that we cannot be agents of peace if we are not at peace within ourselves. When we are filled with anger and strife we spread those things. In fact the monk Benedict made it a part of his monastic rule (law) that you could not leave a monastery and go to another because you were unhappy. Why? He said that while you may think you are leaving to get away from the problem, in fact you are simply taking the problem to a new place. The problem resides within us.
But… I say… But it’s tempting to move on to greener pastures. It’s easy to want to identify how others are a part of the problem. It’s easier to see the toothpick in my neighbor’s eye (to quote Jesus in the Gospel of Matthew) than to think about my role in all of it.
For true peace to reign on earth we have to start by finding God’s peace within us. We have to be willing to look deeply to our own soul’s discontent, unhappiness, and anger. This is why peace is not simply the absence of war. Peace requires to the ability to be comfortable in our own skin; comfortable with the people around us. Peace is not subjugating our own inner turmoil and keeping it reigned in, just as peace cannot be achieved by subjecting other people to our ways and views. This is not peace. Peace is relieving that turmoil and letting it go. “Come to me, all you that are weary and are carrying heavy burdens, and I will give you rest.” (Matthew 11:28)
What burdens are you carrying? What makes you weary? How are we prepared to come to terms with this, to give it up, and to rest in the one who is peace that we might become agents of peace?