Tuesday, October 6, 2009, 04:42 PMPeace
For those that grew up living in the ‘60’s and ‘70’s we all remember the greeting “peace” and the symbol for peace. The symbols were either a written peace sign or holding up two fingers (the index finger and middle finger). Some found it possible to quickly change messages by changing from two fingers to one. These were common reminders of a campaign of protest for the war in Viet Nam. For hippies and flower children of that era the word “peace” completely replaced “Hello”, “Hi”, “How’s it goin“, and all other forms of common greetings. As we grew older the term peace took on many other meanings and eventually outgrew it’s popularity as a greeting.
Another way the word peace has been used is in “Rest in Peace” which most of us assume is the definition for “RIP” . RIP actually came from a Latin phrase that coincidentally has the same meaning as rest in peace. We usually see the phrase “Rest in Peace” used on grave markers and memorials for those that have gone before us. By now you might be wondering, “Where are you going with this?”
Have you ever thought about the difference between living in peace and living at peace. Although they sound similar they are completely different. It is possible to live in a relatively peaceful environment yet still not have a life of peace. To have a life of peace often begins with a place in our life where we may become content. A dictionary defines content as being satisfied with what one has. That might be where many of us looked to find peace in our life.
For me that’s exactly what I was doing. Even though I was getting closer to being content or satisfied with what I had, I could not find peace because I was not content with who I was. I was looking in my house, garage, yard, and office or workplace to find my peace when I should have been looking inside myself.
Not only did I not know that true peace would come from within me, I didn’t know or understand how to find it or where it comes from. When we use the phrase Rest in Peace, we know that the person we are speaking about is no longer struggling with the daily traumas, battles, and turmoil that the rest of us face. Deep inside us, we have hope that the person is in a better place.
If they have passed on and our hope is that they are in a better place then there are some conclusions we can draw from that. One is that they don’t just die - game over - the end. Another is that there is a better place beyond life as we know it. We also have hope that there was something about their life that would get them to the better place.
These are all things that we don’t usually talk about but I know that if you are like me, I have gone through much of my life thinking about it. There came a point in my life where I realized that living in peace was not as important as living at peace.
For me living at peace meant that I realized that I have not lived a perfect life and don’t have the ability to do so. I realized that if there is a better place after I leave this earth, then I wanted to know how to make sure I would get there. That’s when I understood that if I can’t be good enough to get there on my own then I needed help.
OK - if you don’t want to know what I found out then stop reading. If you are not even a bit curious quit here.
What I learned I found in the Bible. I learned from John 3:16 - For God so loved the world that He gave His only Son, that who ever believes in Him will have everlasting life. I also learned from John 14:6 - Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father except through me.
When I realized how I could know that I was going to a better place - I was at peace. It was through Jesus and His willingness to accept the punishment for my imperfect life. That was the help that I needed. When I realized this, that’s when I asked what I could do for Him.
If you want to truly be at peace, you can get there too.
Here if you need me,