Consider the moments when all is just as it should be, when the world seems to be perfect, when a cup of tea is enjoyed quietly empty-headed, when life’s beauty lies peacefully ahead in it’s absolute perfection. What if those moments are chosen as reality and all else is seen as illusion, a deception, a prelude to pain and suffering?
Removing the demands of self from the center of its personal universe is when eyes can be opened to a Divine Presence. Hearts swell in communal joys. Together, when joyful souls engage by pools of cool waters, in fields of green grass and lilies, with blessings of a life lived quietly, there the path of eternity is realized.
Although those moments of peace are sometimes fleeting, they become deeply etched and worthy of devotional pursuit. Then the pleasures and pains of earthly illusions will pale when compared to a life lived in awe of soulful excursions into truth’s reality.
Just a glimpse – of the joy and peace which a magnanimous Creator has intended to be enjoyed always in every moment, every word, every thought.
“Create in me a clean heart, O Lord, and renew a right spirit within me.”
“Be still (cease striving) and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.” Psalm 46:10
Embrace my soul in warmth,
lift from me that which disrupts,
quietly lead me to your abode,
hold my hand in comfort,
open my mind to magnificence,
to light, to beauty, to stillness.
In this place we are one,
you and I are One
we release the pain,
We release it to your fire.
The realm of discontent passes,
it pales and disappears,
only You and I in the stillness,
It is well with my soul,
I do not fear,
I do not desire,
I do not despise,
it is well
for we are as One
“We have ceased fighting anything or anyone – even alcohol. For by this time sanity has returned. We can now react sanely and normally, and we find that this has happened almost automatically. We see that this new attitude toward liquor is really a gift of God.” AS BILL SEES IT, Bill Wilson, pg. 121
“If we are to have peace on earth, our loyalties must become ecumenical rather than sectional. Our loyalties must transcend our race, our tribe, our class, and our nation; and this means we must develop a world perspective.” —Martin Luther King, Jr
In my Lutheran worship service, after the prayers, “the peace of the Lord” is extended by the pastor. The congregants then take several minutes to greet each other with hugs, a hand clasp and a repetition of “God’s peace.” It symbolizes the attitude we are encouraged to assume in greeting the world with a universal message of love and compassion.
During the Christmas season the words “peace on earth, goodwill toward men” will take center stage in celebratory endeavors. It is a sentiment which our enlightenment envisions for all of humanity regardless of religious affiliation or lack thereof. It is a dream shared by John Lennon, IMAGINE, Martin Luther King, Jr., millions of pacifists worldwide, and me. Sadly, peace seems to be, in the Christmas season of 2017, the last item on the agenda of the world’s politicians, strident religious leaders, and governments. Just as a popular song by Lennon in the 1960s anti-war movement laments, “why can’t we give peace a chance” GIVE PEACE A CHANCE , we also wonder what is so tough about peace?
Indeed, why not give peace a chance? What is Larry doing today to give peace a chance? Hmmm, that’s where it starts, does it not? I can’t change the world, but I can surely, with divine help, change me; if each of the world’s 2 billion plus inhabitants could assume a commitment to peaceful co-existence, we might have a chance. Yes, I know, it’s a pipe dream, but, the process has to start somewhere with someone. Let it begin with me. As the Buddhist would ask, “How is your good heart today?” As Jesus would say, “Love your neighbor as yourself.” I have within my being the solution to the worldwide pandemic called heart dis-ease. Lord, bring it on, let the cure begin with me.
“Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, goodwill toward men” Luke 2:14 KJV
Martin Luther King, Jr. accepts the 1964 Nobel Peace Prize
“The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the kid; and the calf and the young lion and the fatling together; and a little child shall lead them.” isaiah 11:6
“In the arms of the angel, fly away from here. From this dark, cold hotel room And the endlessness that you fear.”
Written as “ANGEL” by Sarah McLachlan about the heroin overdose death of Jonathan Melvoin of the SMASHING PUMPKINS
“We need to be more concerned with following Jesus, which he told us to do numerous times, and less with worshipping Jesus—which he never once told us to do.”
Whomever we name as Lord and Savior has to be the guiding essence in our lives. As one brought up in the Christian tradition, I of course have Jesus as my reference point. I believe the teachings and the words attributed to this messenger of God are the entirety of what a person needs to live life successfully and compassionately. His disciples addressed him as “Rabboni” meaning teacher or master. He was not viewed as a preacher, a figure we are more comfortable with in Western Christianity. He did not chastise his followers with threats and condemnation from his pulpit. No, the Jesus we see in the Bible was always in the midst of everyday life, enjoying the company of fellow Jews, partying at weddings, consoling hurting friends, and practicing what he knew as the truth.
That is what western Christianity has lost in its zeal to convert the world. It exhorts proselytes to bow and worship before crosses and man-created theologies rather than to get out there, rub elbows with all of God’s creation and humanity, and be a light in a darkened world by following the examples set by Rabboni.
Jesus endorses freedom of thought and justice for all humanity through actions of love, peace, compassion and inclusion. I must believe that if Jesus and Buddha had met , they would have smiled on the world and greeted each other with Jesus saying, “God’s peace be with you.”
Buddha would have folded his hands, bowed his head, and returned with, “Namaste”, meaning I bow to the Divine in you.
What a wonderful world we could have if we all pretended to be Jesus and Buddha bowing and respecting each other’s chosen path to enlightenment.