“And let the peace of Christ control your hearts , the peace into which you were also called in one body.” Colossians 3:14
The word “peace” can mean many things to many people. In the aftermath of September 11, 2001, I began to pray diligently for peace in the world. Believing fervantly that peace begins with me, I tried vailiantly for the next ten years to add the word to my salutations and to end every writing of email, letters, etc., with the blessing of peace to be on the paths of those I encountered. I focused on making peace with everyone in my life and to deliberately calm and center myself throughout the day. I immersed myself in the study of what is called “nonviolent” communication which teaches a way to communicate that creates harmony rather than discord. Interestingly, all of this effort seemed to have no effect on the outer world. Our country entered into two wars, both in Iraq and Afghanistan, there were multiple natural disasters, friends divorced, families broke apart and people treated others even nore bombastically than in the past. In short, peace seemed to be elusive and in short quantity. And yet, all of these practices had a marked effect on me, the one who was doing the praying and adjusting. While I cannot say for sure whether or not there has been a ripple effect, a sense of peace – deep inside the well of my being – has slowly taken over my soul. It is not the peace that the world gives, as Jesus reminds us in the Scripture, but a peace only He can give if we are open to it. As the new year draws close, I will resolve once more to remain on this path and to guide others on their way as well.