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A Slice Of Life To Go is an online Christian blog written by Todd Thompson. It encourages people to see the beauty in ordinary moments and to know God’s unconditional, unfailing love in everyday life.

Peace

November 3rd, 2008

I did a Google search on the word “peace”. Guess how many entries?

432,000,000.

As in million. Lots of groups out there wanting peace.

There are the predictable, like the Peace Corps, Greenpeace and Peace for the Middle East. But there are some rather unique groups as well. There’s “Poetry for Peace”, perhaps bringing tranquility to the world through dynamic pentameter and Haiku. A group called “Blues For Peace”. On their website they paraphrase the Old Testament verse in Isaiah 2:4, “And they shall beat their swords into guitars.”

There are peace products, too. A “Peace Coffee” that promotes economic peace to the coffee bean growers. And a “Peace Cereal”. It’s an organic granola (big surprise there). 10% of every purchase goes to promote global harmony. This is a group in dire need of effective marketing strategy. If your goal is to raise money with breakfast cereal, you’re not gonna do it selling twigs and tree bark in a box. You need something laced with sugar. Get Tony the Tiger on your peace bandwagon and you’ll raise serious cash.

And did you know that you can purchase your very own peace symbol crafted from the original chain link fence they used at Woodstock back in 1969? Nothing like wearing a piece of pop culture history around your neck.

Being a farm boy from Iowa, my favorite was the “Pigs Peace Sanctuary”. A self-described “haven of love for pigs and their friends.” If you feel called you can even become a financial sponsor to one of the pigs on this 34 acre sanctuary in Washington state. According to their website, your dollars go toward the pig’s “medical care, healthy diet, permanent housing and socialization.” I grew up raising hogs. So the medical care, food and housing are a given. But socialization for pigs? What do they do? Hold therapy groups to talk through their resentment toward the cows? “Charlotte, pull up ‘und couch and tell me about your feelings toward Elsie…”

Peace. Maybe pigs get it. But we humans don’t.

In fact, if the history of civilization is any indication, we don’t have a corporate clue about what peace is. The Society of International Law, located in London, states that during the last 4,000 years there have been only 268 years of peace. During this period there have been 14,351 wars, large and small, in which 3.64 billion people have been killed. The value of the property destroyed would pay for a golden belt around the world 97.2 miles wide and 33 feet thick.

Moreover, in excess of 8,000 peace treaties were made–and broken. We talk a lot about peace, but we don’t do it well. We make peace treaties, then we break them.

But lack of peace isn’t limited to the battlefield. How’s the peace level around your house? Your workplace? Your heart? Your mind? Are you experiencing peace in your every day?

Finish this phrase… “If only I could get some peace and ______”.  Peace and quiet. It’s nice, isn’t it? For most of us, we equate peace with quiet. The absence of noise, distractions and conflict. But is genuine peace merely the absence of noise and conflict? Or is it something more?

I’ve always been intrigued by an account of Jesus and His disciples as recorded in Mark 4. At the end of a long, busy day Jesus said to His friends, “Let’s cross to the other side of the lake.” Leaving the crowds behind, they set sail. On the way a storm blew up. A squall big enough to send waves breaking over the boat; scary enough that hardened fishermen were afraid they might die.

Where is Jesus?

Asleep on a cushion in the back of the boat.

The disciples woke Him up to ask if He cared one way or the other if they drowned. Jesus told the wind to be quiet, which it did. Because when your Boss asks you to do something, it’s wise to obey.

Then He asked the disciples where their faith was. There’s a degree of frustration in Jesus’ question. Because if they can’t have faith when they’re in the same boat with Him, what happens when He’s not there?

As the disciples learned that night, peace isn’t the absence of storms. It’s the presence of Jesus in the middle of our storm. He’s sovereign over every circumstance. Bigger than the storm. Bigger than our fears.

Jesus, please help us to have faith. Your “peace that passes understanding” is what we want.

And while You’re at it, please teach us the trick of sleeping soundly in the back of the boat.

“Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.” – Jesus (John 14:27)

 

Todd A. Thompson – www.ASliceOfLifeToGo.com