Thursday, July 10, 2014

What gives me peace when I'm sad/mad...

This week's question: What gives me peace when I'm sad or mad?

This is so, so hard for me. Peace. I've written a lot about peace. Perhaps, one of the reasons I'm drawn to the celebration of Advent every year is because peace is one of the four candles. Perhaps, the reason I sign many emails with "Peace!" is because I hope for it so much, and I think we all find it so elusive. Advent helps me go back to the basics.

"What is peace?" We ask each other every Advent.

Every year the answer is the same. Peace is hard to describe. It isn't really knowing that everything will be ok. Because we don't know if everything will be ok. And it isn't really quiet, though we speak of "peace and quiet." Because we can have peace while listening to some really loud music. We can have peace in the midst of lots of laughing people. We can have peace...in the middle of a storm. In the middle of the sadness. And the madness.

So what is it? From a 2006 blog post - Peace: The Second Candle of Advent:
Me: Now, what is the second candle for?
Mane [age 4]: Peace.
Me: What is peace?
Mane: Calm. I don't know.
Me: Yes, peace is calm on the inside. It is not fighting. It is feeling content inside.
So...yeah...back to the question. How do I get that in the midst of being sad or mad?

One thing that occurs to me is that peace comes with surrender. In the words of Sara Groves:
Remember surrender
Remember the rest
Remember that weight lifting off of your chest
And realizing that it's not up to you and it never was

Remember surrender
Remember relief
Remember how tears rolled down both of your cheeks
As the warmth of a heavenly father came closing in

I want to do that again
Why can't I live there
And make my home
In sweet surrender
I want to do so much more than remember

Remember surrender
Remember peace
Remember how soundly you fell fast asleep
In the face of your troubles your future still shone like the morning sun

Remember surrender
Remember that sound
Of all of those voices inside dying down
But one who speaks clearly of helping and healing you deep within

I want to do that again
Why can't I live there
And make my home
In sweet surrender
I want to do so much more than remember
Remember
Oh surrender

Surrender. Rest. Surrender. Relief. Surrender. Peace.

In letting go, I find peace. In remembering that "it's not up to you and it never was." In releasing control, there is a certain peace.

When I was in college I used to get so angry when then final answer on a topic of philosophy or theology was, "It's a mystery. This is something we can never really understand." I am on a constant quest for answers. I used to think the "mystery" answer was a cop out. But, now, (and maybe this is a sign that I've grown some since then), I find a certain comfort in that answer. When I've worn the questions ragged and beaten my fists against the patient doors of heaven, to fall to my knees and be wrapped in mystery, to sag my tired weight into the vastness of the things I don't know and just admit, "I don't know," is a relief and a comfort.

I don't know.

2 comments:

  1. Wow. Surrender. I never even thought of that. You always give me a new perspective and something to think about. Thank you.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Your last paragraph is very powerful... So very powerful.

    ReplyDelete

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