“Each one has to find his peace within. And peace, to be real, must be unaffected by outside circumstances.”
I should begin by saying, that I have not achieved the level of peace of which Gandhi spoke—in fact, I'm not even in the ballpark. There is a swirling vortex of angry energy gaining strength on planet Earth at this moment, and it's very difficult to stand outside it. It's easy, and we're very much encouraged, to see the world in terms of “us and them.” No matter what the topic of conversation, we have divided one another in adversarial terms. Perhaps we always have. In America these days, it feels as though the dark dragon, Smaug, has awakened, and is blowing his fiery breath on everyone and everything.
In truth, the only peace to be found is inside us. We cannot look to someone else, some cause, or pseudo-messiah, to bring us peace. We must bring it to ourselves, one human heart at a time. And we must actively seek the places and people who enhance our peacefulness. Gandhi also said, “Prayer is the key of the morning, and the bolt of the evening.” Peacefulness and prayer are the only powers that have sufficient strength to change the energy in which we are living. It's time to seriously engage them.
We've just built a garden at my church. In the midst of the city, it will be an oasis of green and calm, with a large stained glass window of Jesus with the children as the central feature. It is a reminder of the gentleness that comes from true strength. I hope you have such a place of sanctuary near you. If so, go there often to pray and access the peace within you. Each of us needs it, and the world needs it, right now, today.
In the Spirit,