Peace is an undervalued commodity. Most people confuse a peaceful life with a boring life. They prefer excitement and adventure. What too many people actually have is conflict and anxiety.
There are many enemies of peace and most of them, interestingly, are within our own control:
- DESIRE TO WIN: Is this a worthy argument that needs athe best solution or do you just like arguing? Some people won't let go of inane conversations because they must win.
- BUSY-NESS: It really isn't necessary to talk on the phone, IM, fiddle with the iPod and drive at the same time, but people do it. And they wonder why they feel wrecked at the end of the day and they wonder why they get into wrecks--which cause more stress.
- DRAMA: Some people need to have a story to tell, In some families, the only stories that are shared are the tragic ones. Every gruesome, disturbing detail gets replayed with relish. Stop the drama and tell the fun stories.
- MESSY-NESS: You come home to a house that looks like a bomb went off and wonder why you have post traumatic stress disorder. You have too much stuff; get rid of it. You have let the training of your family go--retrain them. A house should be a sanctuary not an aviary.
- NOISE: Turn off the TV, the radio, the children's "outdoor voices". Most of the noise pollution we suffer through, we create ourselves.
- EGO: You're not the master of the universe, which gets driven home during a health or financial crisis. Some of the peace problems are simply ego problems. An anxiety-filled person may wrongly believe that the fate of the world is in his or her hands. Thankfully, it isn't. Prayer, on your knees, reminds you of your humble position and actually frees you from believing that you must be omniscient, omnipresent and omnipotent.
- MEDIA: Nearly every source of news whether it be magazines, Television, even my beloved internet, is negative. Reading books, however, focuses the mind while feeding the mind. They often give a long-term and broader view which is less anxiety provoking.
- WORK: Whether it's a weekend away or a day home alone with the phones turned off and the shades drawn, it's nice to have some time to reassess and calm down. Stepping out of the fast lane, even for a moment can really help.
- LOST CAUSES: Why do you still try to salvage that relationship with the most annoying person in the universe? I call them "Ch'i suckers". Too often, we pursue these relationships because we want them to turn out well. Some just won't. If you dread a phone call, if you dread their presence, if you have tried for years to no avail: let it go. Pray for them. Try to end it well. But end it.
- DEBT: Money, baby! Or the lack of it is a constant stress. Very often, it is within our control to work on ridding ourselves of it. Is that new iPhone worth your peace of mind, if you can't really afford it?
One year, on my dream board, I made the goal simple: Peace. It made such a difference, that it's been a goal ever since.
Psalm 34:14 (Amplified):Peace doesn't just come to you, you have to seek it and pursue it earnestly. Peace must be its own goal.
Depart from evil and do good; seek, inquire for, and crave peace and pursue (go after) it!