Driving through Seattle yesterday, I saw another sign proclaiming a desire for peace on earth. A worthy desire, but not likely, outside of a new Pax Romana that is enforced by a power brutal enough to deal with all opposition.
Then I asked myself, what sort of peace do we desire? It seems that most of the clamor for peace that I see in Western civilization, or at least in the U.S., is a call for external peace, that is, a lack of strife and suffering.
I do see some who are wise enough to recognize that there is a greater peace to be had that is internal, but again, what does that sort of peace look like?
Is it a life that has ample money and other goods to lack want? Is it a life where all my family members act happy if not 100% of the time, at least 95%, and hide the other 5% so I’m not bothered by it?
Security and felicity do provide a sense of safety and prosperity, and that is peace of a sort, but does it eliminate strife with my neighbor or my kid who has a different opinion than me?
I have the feeling that real peace–that is, internal peace–is something different entirely, something that is tied to being content with my lot in life no matter the circumstances I currently face.
If this is the case, then Lord help me, because I don’t know if that kind of peace is humanly possible.