More often than not, I find myself to have a continual stream of thoughts flowing through my mind as I try to sort out different threads and streams of information and life situations. I see the solution to one ordeal and put it to rest only to have another pop up and quickly execute another defensive maneuver to quell the situation.
In college days a friend that we merely referred to as Doc Fuller mentioned the idea of defragging the mind, letting it sort things out without additional inputs. At the time I didn’t quite understand what he meant in terms of limiting additional inputs, only thinking to myself that it would be beneficial at time to stop running around constantly and taking on additional efforts to help others out.
The world we live within tends to be materialistic in nature – not too surprising considering that we tend to strive after those things that would bring us profit, spoils of some sort (think Pirate spoils, arrrrrgh), influence or carnal gratification. As broken people we tend to seek out one of these hoping to attain peace, though like a sparkler or the phosphorus of a match head, it gleams only momentarily before extinguishing itself.
So how and where do we find peace?
Some would say that peace can be found in a place – I would agree in some respects. Though I would argue that peace is not necessarily in the place, but that it can be conducive to helping one find peace. When the mind is strained in several directions, having inputs and interactions limited may help, however the internal processing of the mind and soul is at capacity such that it can work through thoughts – peace has not been attained, though the mind is slowly working toward that. And yet, I find myself leaving to go to Nashville, TN, Birmingham, AL and Atlanta, GA recently and while there was a great sense of peace being away from the stress of work and family life, peace was not necessarily attained.
Others may quickly jump up and state that peace is a thing.
I started to think this, letting my mind think that a new television or maybe a new car (wow the Maxima sure is a hot car) would bring that peace. Unfortunately such a new item or a toy is merely trading peace for short term contentment. We’ve all been there, excited that the new gadget is on its way via UPS or Fedex, or we’ve looked it up online, done a little research and found the best bargain to quickly go out and procure locally.
Perhaps peace can be found in a person?
I struggle with this myself as someone that is single, thinking to myself that only if I were dating someone then I would have peace. I remember in high school in college friends of the female gender having such a tendency, always looking to date someone rather than being detached. While there is definitely Biblical teaching that would point out that man and woman are meant for one another, helping, assisting and growing one another in the Lord’s teachings, I think that we need to first realize that relationships while they provide someone to lean on do not in and of themselves bring peace. How to deal with this of course is yet another question that can merely be answered in that a significant other may care for you, they in and of themselves as a physical being cannot provide peace.
More recently in the past nine months, I’ve come to the realization that peace is something that is fleeting and can only be attained through the discipline of the mind and the soul. While I have not necessarily become a master of attaining this peace – the fallen nature of man preventing me from maintaining constant focus, I do have to say that meditation on scripture definitely has a way of bringing peace to the soul. Much as Isaiah 26:3 states, “You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you.” Hopefully this doesn’t sound like some sort of Zen, but at the same time it is quite true, focusing and meditating and remembering He who created us, clarity and focus of mind seem to become evident and the stressors and detracting scenery melt away.
Where do you find your peace?
Written while listening to Break of Reality