In the Quaker meeting I attended yesterday one person felt moved to speak. I was glad. Being new to how unprogrammed Quaker meetings work I was eager to see and hear someone deciding to share what they felt God had moved them to say. This gentleman’s ministry was about Peace. He posed the question: “Is the definition of peace the absence of war?” He concluded that it was not; that military conflict was not necessarily present when countries, communities and people were not at peace with one another. I agree. He took the analogy further to encompass God. God is not an entity we can physically fight, but we can feel that we are not at peace with Him.
This man’s understanding was that being “at peace” was a feeling of alignment. We are at peace with God when we feel we are doing His will; when we feel aligned with His wishes. As I contemplated this concept I began to wonder if peace was the goal we should even be aiming for. I feel very much out of “alignment” with God right now. That’s one of the reason’s I’ve started this blog. I’m searching for this peace (a word, by the way, that I continually misspell every time I type it – apparently I’m actually in search of a peach!). God does work in mysterious ways. 🙂
My thought is this – it is in these periods of searching, when I feel most misaligned with something or someone that I experience the most emotional growth. I struggle, I challenge myself in new ways, I find new ways to see things and people and ultimately come out on the other side happier. At those times, I would use the term “at peace” to describe my state. But it’s not when I’m at peace that this growth occurs. Maybe it should and I’m just too lazy until something goes wrong. (Slothfulness is a personal theme for me.)
But maybe peace is a wonderful yet brief reward at the end of a struggle. The thing that keeps us going, that helps us move ourselves forward and continue to climb out of our dark places. It’s not a lasting experience that we should strive to maintain, but one we should be thankful that we have at all.