Rev. Wayne Walder: Peace

by Reverend Wayne Walder

Peace does not simply call for the absence of struggle, but requires other things. For example, a hungry person who lashes out is not just denying peace. They are hungry, and peace requires that they not be hungry.

When someone is threatened, they may talk tough because they are afraid, because the “fight or flight” response has kicked in. They do this out of fear. In this case, peace requires we reduce their fear. When someone is grieving, they may look for a person or a community to blame. They do not want to face the grief themselves; perhaps they cannot face it alone. In this case peace requires we work on their grief, by sharing it.

Peace is not a state of mind we can buy. It cannot be forced through manipulating ourselves or others. Peace is a state of mind that quiets our suspicious, needy and sad internal dialogue. It comes from the same place that our suspicion, our neediness and our sadness comes from. It comes from us. Our problem with peace might be that we don’t know how to create it. Then, when struggle breaks out and we don’t know what to do, we run away or get angry.

Maybe we can change that. In our theme month of Peace, would you try a few things to develop more peace in your life? This can help us feel peace more often, and when we feel it we can share it with others.
. Sit quietly every day and breathe, relax and rest … nothing more. Take only 3 minutes.
. The next time you feel a conflict coming, don’t run from it. Stay with the conflict until it is over. Ask for advice.
. When you see anger in another person, before you become angry ask: “Why are you angry?” (or any question that gets under the surface anger).

I love meditation and prayer. I do them often and while they are peaceful, I know they will not create peace. They can only set the stage for learning the skills of peace so we can feel and share.


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