Friday, June 19, 2009

Peace I Leave With You

In my last post, I offered a summary of the characteristics of inner peace.

Inner Peace comes from Jesus. Insight. A Sense of Meaning and Purpose. Wisdom. Inner Peace is a heart untroubled. Acceptance of true powerlessness. Commitment to wholeness. A desire to do good.
But the wicked are like the tossing sea
that cannot keep still;
its waters toss up mire and mud.
There is no peace, says my God, for the wicked.
Isaiah 57:20-21

I am the Lord your God,
who teaches you for your own good,
who leads you in the way you should go.
O that you had paid attention to my commandments!
Then your prosperity would have been like a river,
and your success like the waves of the sea;
"There is no peace," says the Lord, "for the wicked."
Isaiah 48: 18, 22

In Isaiah, the prophet repeats again and again that the wicked have no peace. And we know why. The wicked do not have insight and wisdom to discern what is and is not in their power. The wicked have no sense of purpose in life, or perhaps no sense of higher purpose. The wicked can not trust that the uncertainty, the suffering, the indecision of life will not last. The wicked do not accept the ebb and flow of life. The wicked do not accept their own powerlessness, do not commit themselves to wholeness, do not have a desire to do good. The wicked do not attend to the commandments. The wicked have little appreciation for the Serenity Prayer--Help me change what I can change, help me accept what I have no control over, and give me the wisdom to know the difference.

I think it's important to look at peace from the view of the wicked. We live in a universe of duality. We must see what peace looks like to those who have it and to those who do not. In this way, we gain a better yardstick to sense and recognize peace within ourselves. Once recognized, we can move toward peace again and again until we learn the habit and trust the certainty.

The Bible spends a lot of time on external peace and harmony in relations, but in their letter to the Philippians, Timonthy and Paul give us one of my favorite summaries of God's gift and what Jesus tried to teach us:

Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, Rejoice. Let your gentleness be known to everyone. The Lord is near. 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 you hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:4-7

If we rejoice, act with gentleness, know that we are steeped in the Divine, stop worrying needlessly, live in gratitude, and acknowledge the limits of our power, then we will have peace. This is true inner peace, which brings us unshakable roots, grounding in the Divine web, and trust in God.

Walk in peace this day.


  1. Peace is leaving your kids at home and going on a three day cruise with your spouse alone! . . . sorry we just got back.

    Seriously, Peace, for myself, is being comfortable with who I am. Accepting my own strengths and my weaknesses. Feeling cradled in God's love "as I am" because of his total acceptance of my humanity. Peace is the "grace of freewill" that allows for the times when I lose confidence in my self but God lovingly gives me an out until I find the inner strength to meet my potential.

    Peace is being aware of all the gifts God has given me and the ability to feel gratitude. . . . . .

  2. I would like to offer a suggestion. . . Reread this replacing "wicked" with the word " broken".

    For myself, this second version pulls at my compassion for others. Calling me to reach out to them and myself when I stumble. It draws me to work for the kingdom instead of passing judgement or using a use and them morality. I find it much more productive in working for inner peace because it pulls me toward my fellow man.

    The first reading,however, leaves me feeling distant and guarded form others. It calls me to avoid others and enter a mood of self protection. It does not bring me to inner peace but actually moves me farther away.

    Just a person exercise I wanted to share.