The Discipline of Peace

Some days it has made me angry. Some days it has made me sad. Some days it has made me deeply concerned.

And according to a therapist I heard speaking recently, apparently it has made many across our nation – and even the world – feel stress.

Of course I’m talking about the election. In one week it will mercifully be over.

Until the next one.

As we begin the seven-day countdown in which the frenzy is sure to ramp up to a fever pitch crescendo, I would like to offer one word to carry with you into the coming week.

Peace.

The morning after the election the sun will still rise. The birds will be still be singing.

The morning after the election God’s mercies will still be new.

Even if you wake up the day after the election with a feeling of crushing disappointment and hear doomsday predictions from Chicken Little pundits about the end of America as we know it, Psalm 46 will nevertheless share an important truth.

Be still and know that I am God.

Turn off the TV. Turn off your phone. Head to the park and take a walk. Say a prayer.  Allow the words of Psalm 85 to replace the polarizing racket of political posturing.

Let me hear what God the Lord will speak, for he will speak peace to his people, to his faithful, to those who turn to him in their hearts.

Go and be the hands and feet of Jesus to somebody in need. The President can’t care for the people in your immediate sphere of influence no matter who he or she is.

In our family we have a saying that helps keep things light.

“The first thing we need to do is panic!”

This is our humorous way of gently reminding one another that panic is rarely a helpful response to a stressful situation. Instead, it’s better to calm ourselves and shut out the voices of calamity all around us – even our own – so that we may hear what God is whispering in our hearts.

Jesus knew the world would pull us in a million turbulent directions. He didn’t want us to panic. That’s why he said:

Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled, and do not let them be afraid. (John 14:27)

I’m going to try to resist the temptation to be drawn into a hostile and fruitless debate by the divisive, unproductive rhetoric that is sure to pollute the airwaves for the next several days.

Instead I’m praying for the discipline to actively seek and share peace.

I’d like to begin by offering the words of the Twenty Third Psalm set to music today with a glorious tenor vocal, accompanied by a grand piano and orchestra.

May these words and this music calm your heart this day. And may the Lord be with you and give you peace.

 

To listen to Twenty Three click below:

Twenty Three