“and the way of peace they do not know” Romans 3:17
As a child, peace was what I desired when there was conflict in my family. As a young man, peace became the absence of war. Much of my generation thought peace and love would free the world. In fact they sought peace through rebellion and civil disobedience. Their quest for peace and a unified spirit was sought with the aid of drugs.Free love was part of their protest against the rules of society which had created war. So peace and love were sought through riots, sedition, anarchy, drugs and sexual promiscuity. There was a very real war fought for peace in America. How Ironic that this was done to protest a war against Communism, which was being fought to protect freedom and have peace. “The wisdom of man...!”
As a young, married, businessman, peace meant that I was productive and earning an adequate income to support my family. Again, ironically, my hard work produced long hours away from my family. This caused emotional stress and conflict because they wanted me - and the adequate income. So there was civil disobedience at home while I was out trying to earn peace.
Twenty years later, peace began to mean time away from the demands of of work and family. Peace became escape or avoidance of conflict. My experience proved to me the futility of seeking peace in work family or even escape. So peace began to mean an emotional security and sanity within myself. During all my striving for peace with every available means, I found there was no peace anywhere. In fact, I found that my best thinking and hardest work seemed to be yielding only more stress and conflict. At this point, I stopped trusting my wisdom judgement and adequacy. I was defeated and lost. Only after I had tried everything possible did I consider that God was not just part of my search but was in fact the only way to peace.
Every person's story is unique but the bottom line truth is always the same. My life is unmanageable because of over work, over eating, over spending, too much or too little sex, too much escape or self-medication with alcohol, drugs and gambling. Some people may be serving humanity or church too much. There is no end to the lethal combinations of means and ends used in man’s search for peace. Many people never find their exit off this frantic interstate highway. Their final destination becomes the end of every addiction; incarceration, insanity or death. Frequently, there is a multi-vehicle accident with many injuries before their journey ends.
Thank God that I came to accept the fact that I needed help. Thank God that I believed He existed, that He cared and that He could and would like to help me. Thank God that when I found there was nothing left but God - God was ALL I needed. My peace in life required peace with God. I found I must agree with Him that He was God and I was not. I found His way was the only way. I needed to tell Him what He never misunderstood. I needed His help. I needed to surrender, to admit defeat and become a servant to Him. There, He assured me I would find rest. In that rest, I would also find love joy peace and all the abundant fruit of His Spirit.