Peace Is Not Avoidance

The topic at church this morning was peace, meaning inner peace.  The pastor in his sermon was saying that peace is not people avoiding unpleasant situations.  That reminded me of a sermon that Martin Luther King, Jr. gave, which is in his book, Strength to Love: that it’s easy for people to have peace when they have lots of money in their pocket, but that God’s peace gets people through tough situations.  When King received a death threat, for example, he prayed to God, and he felt a sense of peace.

I’m not sure what to say about all of this.  I actually am the type of person who likes to avoid unpleasant situations.  I don’t like crisis.  I can identify with what one of the characters in Stephen King’s Lisey’s Story asked his wife: Are things the same?  And, to be honest, at least at this time in my life, I don’t feel compelled to prove to people that I have inner peace—-that I feel a-OK in horrible situations.  When people have remarked to me that I look calm in a crisis, I don’t use that as an opportunity to witness.  Sometimes, I’m calm in a crisis because I can’t do anything to solve it, and so all I can do it wait and see what happens.  I do admit, though, that prayer gets me through—-at least it puts my mind at some rest while I am waiting.  But prayer hasn’t made me perfect, not by a long shot.  I’m still fearful of unpleasant situations.

About jamesbradfordpate

My name is James Pate. This blog is about my journey. I read books. I watch movies and TV shows. I go to church. I try to find meaning. And, when I can’t do that, I just talk about stuff that I find interesting. I have degrees in fields of religious studies. I have an M.Phil. in the History of Biblical Interpretation from Hebrew Union College in Cincinnati, Ohio. I also have an M.A. in Hebrew Bible from Jewish Theological Seminary, an M.Div. from Harvard Divinity School, and a B.A. from DePauw University.
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